In memoriam

U.S. student killed in Paris was first-generation college student, daughter of immigrant

Gonzalez was a first-generation student, the daughter of an immigrant mother from Mexico, paying her own way through school. (Facebook/Niran Jayasiri)

Nohemi Gonzalez was small but full of energy — so much so that she earned the nicknames firecracker and rabbit, her friends and family recalled at a memorial service for the slain 23-year-old college student who was killed in Friday’s attacks in Paris. Hundreds gathered to remember Gonzalez, known as “Mimi” to those close to her, at Cal State Long Beach on Sunday night, donning feathers in her honor. Gonzalez was a senior studying industrial design at Cal State but was spending a semester in Paris at the Strate School of Design with three other classmates, all of whom are alive and still in Paris following the attacks. “We all encouraged them to do it; we just thought it was going to be just an amazing experience,” professor Dave Teubner, who helped plan the semester abroad, told NPR.

Gonzalez was a first-generation student, the daughter of an immigrant mother from Mexico, paying her own way through school. Her family sat in the front row of the memorial service, including mother Beatriz, who did not speak at the service but told Univision in an interview said she wanted her only daughter to be remembered as a young Latina who worked hard to get ahead.

Read the full story at NPR.

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