Ana Garcia (AMERICA FERRERA) is a recent high school graduate who was smart enough to gain admittance to Beverly Hills High School, but lacks the drive or money to make more of herself. Much of that has to do with her parents, Carmen (LUPE ONTIVEROS) and Raul (JORGE CEVERA JR.), and the way they treat her.
Raul doesn't want her to split up the family by attending some out of state college, while Carmen constantly belittles Ana for being overweight and without a boyfriend. She eventually convinces her oldest daughter, Estela (INGRID OLIU), to give Ana a job in her small, un-air-conditioned dress factory where she, Carmen and others make dresses that they sell to department stores for $18 that are then sold to consumers for $600.
Not surprisingly, Ana isn't pleased with working for Estela along with other literal sweatshop workers such as Pancha (SOLEDAD ST. HILAIRE) and Norma (LINA ACOSTA). Her only solace is her understanding grandfather, Don Miguel (FELIPE DE ALBA); an English teacher, Mr. Guzman (GEORGE LOPEZ), who keeps pushing her to excel; and a secret boyfriend, Jimmy (BRIAN SITES), who doesn't care about her weight.
As she continues working in the factory and dreaming of attending college, Ana must decide whether or not to allow her restrictive parents and societal norms to prevent her from being happy and attaining her dreams.