Enrique Loyola will never forget the four years he spent at Loyola High School or that fact that his acceptance to the private Catholic school changed his family’s destiny.
“Many people tell me I was destined to come here… I tell myself I earned the spot,” Enrique Loyola said.
Four years ago, the teenager and his family were facing possible deportation to Mexico after coming to California in the 90s.
His parents had been petitioning for legal residency for years, but when he was in eighth grade a judge ruled the entire family had to be deported, Enrique said.
At the time, Enrique had already been accepted to Loyola on a full scholarship.
“It was my dream to come to this school not thinking that it was going to help me for my parent’s case,” he said.
When the judge learned that Enrique had been accepted to the prestigious school he reversed the ruling, saying he couldn’t take the opportunity away from him, Enrique said.
On the eve of graduation, Enrique was grateful to his parents for always pushing him to achieve his dreams.
“I want to tell them thank you for being the best parents ever,” he said.
Enrique was accepted to Wake Forest University where he planned to study business and maybe one day attend law school.
KTLA’s Kacey Montoya contributed to this story.