White House Announces Virtual Guests for First Lady’s Box 2021 Joint Session of Congress

The White House

Traditionally, First Ladies have invited guests to join her in her viewing box for presidential speeches to Congress and other events of national importance. This year, because of safety measures related to COVID-19, the First Lady’s guests for the President’s Address to the Joint Session of Congress will be watching the speech remotely. At 4:00 PM EST on Wednesday, April 28, Dr. Biden will host a virtual reception with this year’s guests, each of whom personify some of the issues or policies that will be addressed by the President in his speech.

This event will be livestreamed HERE or at www.whitehouse.gov/live.

Biographies of the First Lady’s virtual guests are below:

Javier Quiroz Castro

Dreamer, DACA Recipient & Nurse

Originally from Mexico, Javier Quiroz’s parents brought him to the United States when he was three years old, where he grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. As the oldest child, Javier assisted with the care of his three younger siblings and helped his family navigate life in America. Javier went to Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he discovered his love of nursing. Javier graduated in May 2013 with his Bachelor’s in Science of Nursing. He received the Spirit of Nursing Award, which each year is given to only one nursing student who best delivered quality care. After President Obama established Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012, Javier was able to become a registered nurse. He now lives in Houston, Texas, where he has been on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Maria-Isabel Ballivian

Executive Director, Annandale Christian Community For Action (ACCA) Child Development Center

As an innovative educator, senior administrator, trainer, and advocate, Isabel Ballivian has been working to improve the quality of care and education for young children. Isabel is the Executive Director of the ACCA Child Development Center, an NAEYC-accredited program that serves more than 200 at-risk children in Fairfax County, Virginia. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of early childhood education working for various nonprofit organizations.

Tatiana Washington

Gun Violence Prevention Advocate and Organizer

After her aunt was killed in a murder-suicide, shot by her husband, in March 2017, Tatiana Washington became involved with gun violence prevention work. Today, Tatiana, a 20-year-old from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a Policy Associate at March for Our Lives and Executive Director of 50 Miles More. 50 Miles More is a youth-led organization focused on gun violence prevention. Following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, WI in August, Tatiana has also been involved in the Wisconsin Black Lives Matter Movement.

Stella Keating (she/her)

First Transgender Teen to Testify Before U.S. Senate

Since the age of nine, Stella Keating has been engaged in politics, starting when she testified before her school board advocating for more innovative programs in her elementary school. Now, a 16-year-old high school sophomore from Tacoma, Washington, Stella Keating became the first transgender teenager to testify before the U.S. Senate during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Equality Act in March 2021.

Theron Rutyna

IT Director for the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Theron Rutnya has been leading the effort to get broadband to Tribal lands in Wisconsin. Theron is a member of Governor Evers’ Broadband Task Force, and has been working with all Tribal communities in the state to secure funding to bring broadband access to these mostly rural communities.

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