WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) today announced that Dreamer and 2018 New Mexico Teacher of the Year Ivonne Orozco-Acosta will be his special guest at President Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. Orozco-Acosta, a teacher at the Public Academy for Performing Arts in Albuquerque and a graduate of the University of New Mexico, is one of the estimated 7,000 Dreamers that live in New Mexico.
“Dreamers like Ivonne represent the future of a great America. It is an honor to have Ivonne as my guest for the State of the Union and have the opportunity to share her story. Ivonne's commitment to education and giving back to her community is truly inspiring and reminds us just how much is at stake for communities across New Mexico,” said Senator Heinrich. “Dreamers are counting on us to stay focused on finding a bipartisan solution that is long overdue and I will be working every step of the way to make that happen.”
“I am honored to be Senator Heinrich's guest at the State of the Union Address. It is a critical time to share personal narratives that have the power to create change. I am grateful to have my voice included with other Dreamers attending,” said Orozco-Acosta. “It is imperative that a solution is reached to give us all stability. It is a privilege to be a part of that work along with Senator Heinrich.”
Senator Heinrich has been a leading advocate for Dreamers in New Mexico and has called on Republicans in Congress to pass the bipartisan Dream Act without delay. As the Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), Senator Heinrich has been highlighting the significant economic contributions Dreamers make to their communities. The JEC Democrats recently released two reports: DACA by the Numbers and Ending DACA Will Hurt Rural Economies and Communities.
Ivonne Orozco-Acosta was born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico until she was 12 years old when her family immigrated to the United States. She learned English through middle school and graduated high school in central New Mexico. It was during these challenging years of learning that Ivonne was encouraged by her teachers to grow. Ivonne knows the power that educators hold to create positive change in students’ perspectives of themselves. Ivonne attended the University of New Mexico where she earned her BA in Secondary Education with a concentration in Spanish. She has been teaching Spanish at Public Academy for Performing Arts, a charter school in Albuquerque, for the past four years. Due to her passion for education, the work she does in her classroom and the representation of the diversity New Mexico schools foster, Ivonne has been selected as the 2018 New Mexico Teacher of the Year.