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LAREDO MORNING TIMES: Congressman Hosts Student to see Obama

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Laredo, January 11, 2016 | comments

Congressman Henry Cuellar will host an elementary school student from Laredo to see President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address.

The student, Anthony Garcia, 11, who attends Cuellar Elementary School, 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 Obama’s address. The address is set for 8 p.m. Tuesday at the House Chamber at the 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,” Cuellar said. “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.”

Cuellar will 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, 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.

“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 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.

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