The Achievements That Earned This Young Student A Place At The State Of The Union

Mar 19, 2015
At last year's State of the Union address, Michelle Obama was surrounded by a handful of special guests who personified the American Dream. One of these guests was Estiven Rodriguez, who, at the time, was a high school senior at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) in New York City. He now attends college at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania on a full scholarship.

Born in the Dominican Republic to a factory worker, Rodriguez and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 9 years old. Unable to speak any English when he arrived, he started school by taking classes that were mostly in Spanish. When he entered WHEELS as a sixth grader, he barely spoke English, but insisted on being placed in an English-only English class because of his family's commitment to learn the language and succeed.
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