Seven months since Joaquin Luna's death, his mother Santa Mendoza cherishes what could have been the key to his future, a high school diploma.
How happy are you to have this diploma in your hands? Action 4 News asked Mendoza.
I would be happy to have him here," she responded.
The diploma was awarded posthumously in May.
The 18-year-old student at Juarez-Lincoln High School in Mission took his life in November.
His family says he felt worthless as an undocumented immigrant, unable to fulfill his dream as a civil engineer.
I think that when I buried my son on my birthday, Mendoza sobbed, When I buried my son, I think I also buried myself with him."
Unable to recover from his death, Mendoza said she found comfort and faith in President Barack Obama's new policy towards undocumented youth.
It allows people in the same situation that Joaquin was in to stay in the country and apply for a work permit.
I think he did very well, she said. And even though it may have been late, he did it."
With new hope on the horizon, she offered advice to the so called DREAMers, an estimated 800,000 of which stand to benefit nationwide.
I know that if you want to become someone greater, you will do it, she told them. And don't lose hope, because even if it takes years, God will reward the time spent waiting."
Still in mourning, Mendoza said she is also waiting, although her dream is to be reunited with Joaquin.