Rep. Mike Levin Honors Motivational Speaker and First Generation American as Constituent of the Month
Oceanside, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) announced that Erica Alfaro, a motivational speaker and first-generation American whose parents immigrated from Mexico, is the September Constituent of the Month.
Erica was born in Fresno and raised in Tijuana. Her mother, Teresa, a farm worker, and her father, Claudio, a landscaper, had high hopes for their daughter from the start. The family moved to Oceanside when Erica was 13 so that Erica could pursue educational opportunities that were never available to her parents. After becoming a mother herself at just 15 years old, Erica persevered through a difficult journey that entailed dropping out of high school, attaining her diploma through a home school program, flunking out of college after she discovered that her son had cerebral palsy, and ultimately achieving her educational goals. Erica currently holds an associate’s degree from MiraCosta College, a bachelor’s degree from California State University San Marcos, and a master’s degree from San Diego State University.
After achieving her master’s degree in 2019, Erica and her parents posed for a family photo in a strawberry field in Carlsbad with Erica dressed in her cap and gown. The digital photo (pictured above) made its way around the world and helped launch Erica’s career as a motivational speaker. She has since inspired audiences throughout the region, where she discusses her experiences and expounds on the value of completing higher education. In addition to her speaking engagements, Erica currently works in the Human Resources Department of the West Coast Tomato Growers in Oceanside, where she informs farmworkers of their rights.
See below for Rep. Levin’s statement recognizing Erica Alfaro in the Congressional Record:
“Madam Speaker, it is my great honor to recognize an inspiring motivational speaker and first-generation American in my community, Erica Alfaro, as my September Constituent of the Month. Erica was born in Fresno, California, and spent much of her childhood in Tijuana. Her mother, Teresa, a farm worker, and her father, Claudio, a landscaper, moved the family to Oceanside when Erica was 13 to provide Erica with educational opportunities that were never available to them.
“Upon arrival in Oceanside, Erica and her family moved into a two-bedroom apartment with another family, where a total of 11 people shared the small space. Erica recalls accompanying her mother to the fields, and listening to her mother describe education as a means to achieve a better life.
“After becoming a mother herself at 15 years old and dropping out of high school, Erica would eventually receive her high school diploma through a home school program and enroll in classes at MiraCosta College. During this time, Erica balanced an extremely heavy workload that included a full-time job, full-time classwork, and full-time motherhood. When her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Erica’s grades began to slide, forcing her to temporarily suspend her academic dreams. Through this all, Erica persisted.
“Determined to complete the education her parents desperately desired for her, Erica would eventually receive an associate’s degree from MiraCosta College, a bachelor’s degree from California State University San Marcos, and a master’s degree from San Diego State University.
“Erica has endured hardship and inspired hope, and she stands today as a model of perseverance. Her story has touched people from all walks of life, and she continues to motivate others as an in-demand motivational speaker. In addition to her speaking engagements—and her ongoing role as a devoted mother—Erica currently works in the Human Resources Department of the West Coast Tomato Growers in Oceanside, where she informs farmworkers of their rights. In celebration of Erica’s achievements and Hispanic Heritage Month, I’m proud to honor Erica Alfaro as my September Constituent of the Month.”
Representative Levin’s Constituent of the Month program recognizes outstanding North County San Diego and South Orange County Residents who have gone above and beyond to help their neighbors, give back to their community, and represent the best of our country. Rep. Levin’s August Constituent of the Month was Marine Corps veteran and Para athlete Sarah Rudder. His July Constituent of the Month was local retired elementary school principal Julie Parker.
To nominate a resident of the 49th District to be the Constituent of the Month, fill out this nomination form.