New Mexico Dreamer And Teacher Of The Year To Join Heinrich As Honored Guest For State Of The Union

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. 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 Tuesday at President Trump’s State of the Union Address.

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 who 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,” Heinrich said. “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.”

Orozco-Acosta said, “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. 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.”

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), 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.

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 Orozco-Acosta was encouraged by her teachers to grow. She knows the power that educators hold to create positive change in students’ perspectives of themselves. Orozco-Acosta 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, Orozco-Acosta has been selected as the 2018 New Mexico Teacher of the Year.