Press Release

Rep. Cuellar to Host Laredo Student in Washington for Pres. Obama’s Final State of the Union Address

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LAREDO, Texas, January 11, 2016 | Rafael Benavides ((956) 725-0639) | comments
Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) will host fifth-grade student Anthony Garcia, 11, from Dr. Henry Cuellar Elementary School in Laredo, Texas, to see President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 12 at 8 p.m. CST at the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

“Education is the great equalizer. I fully believe in providing our students with the resources and experiences to take them farther in life,” said Congressman Cuellar. “On Tuesday, Anthony will be seated by me and all of our nation’s representatives and senators to listen to President Obama’s State of the Union address. The next day, my staff will guide him and his father on a tour of our nation’s capital to see historical monuments and the White House.

“As he listens to President Obama speak on our nation’s most important issues, I hope that Anthony will take this opportunity to realize that he can accomplish any dream as long as he is dedicated and continues his education.”

Congressman Cuellar will fully cover airfare and hotel accommodations for Anthony and his father, Alejandro Moncivais.

“I’m excited, but nervous at the same time. This will be my first time out of Texas and my first time on a plane,” Anthony said. “My friends and teacher were asking me if I had won, and I said yes. My teacher was jumping with joy.”

Anthony, who is in the Gifted and Talented program at United Independent School District (UISD), enjoys playing basketball and reading about history. His favorite school subjects are reading, math and science. He wants to either become an architect or a senator when he grows up.

Anthony was chosen out of 105 fifth-grade students at the school who participated in an essay-writing competition about positive habits that have made them a better leader, and why they would like to see President Obama’s State of the Union Address in Washington.

“Our school follows the leadership habits of Stephen Covey. We had our fifth grade students write a one-page essay explaining how the habits have helped them to become a great leader and what they felt they could learn from the trip,” said Melissa Shinn, Principal of Dr. Henry Cuellar Elementary.

Out of the school’s four fifth-grade classes, the top three essays were chosen from each class. Twelve finalists were then interviewed and the top three candidates were further interviewed by UISD representatives.

“Out of all of them, Anthony did an incredible job, and won the spot,” Shinn said.

"This opportunity ties into our 7 Habits of Great Leaders theme at Dr. Henry Cuellar Elementary.  For our students to be able to see the leaders of our country in action and know that they've gone to college and are now living their dreams really reinforces what we're trying to teach-to think with the ‘End in Mind’ and anyone can reach their goals. I can't thank Congressman Cuellar enough for this opportunity," Shinn added. 

"On behalf of our Board of Trustees, I would like to thank Congressman Cuellar for offering this great opportunity to our student, Anthony Garcia and his parents. It's going to be an experience that he'll never forget," said United ISD Superintendent Roberto J. Santos.

Dr. Henry Cuellar Elementary fifth grader Anthony Garcia, (center), was chosen out of 105 fifth-grade students to attend President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union speech with Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) on Jan. 12 in Washington, D.C. From left to right: Dr. Henry Cuellar Elementary Principal Melissa Shinn, fifth grade student Anthony Garcia and his mother, Paulina Moncivais.


From left to right are Dr. Henry Cuellar Elementary fifth-grade teacher Jessica Martinez, Principal Melissa Shinn, fifth-grader Anthony Garcia and his parents Paulina and Alejandro Moncivais.


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Tags: Education