Sen. Martin Heinrich announced that University of New Mexico student Carielle Bahe from the Navajo Nation will be his special guest at President Barack Obama's final State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Jan. 12.
Bahe grew up in Crownpoint, N.M., and graduated with honors from Crownpoint High School in 2013. Bahe is earning her bachelor's degree in Secondary Education at UNM and hopes to return to Crownpoint as a high school English teacher. She wants to help other Native American students attain higher education.
"I am honored to have Carielle Bahe as my guest for the State of the Union and look forward to sharing this experience with her,” Heinrich said. Carielle's commitment to her education, giving back to her community, and working with youth is inspiring, and represents the kind of bright future we can have in New Mexico if we invest in our students."
At UNM, Bahe participates in American Indian Student Services events. She also volunteers on campus, cleaning up after sporting events and removing graffiti from campus buildings. When Bahe returns to Crownpoint during breaks, she teaches Sunday Bible school and helps with church events.
Bahe has worked for the Navajo Nation Office of Youth Development, Diné College, and the Crownpoint and Becenti Chapter Houses. She interned for Senator Heinrich in his Albuquerque office during her sophomore year.
Heinrich is committed to ensuring that every New Mexican has access to the quality, affordable education and training they need to succeed in our global economy. New Mexico is a model for the nation at keeping college costs low. Average 4-year in-state tuition is $6,190 and the percentage of state expenditures for higher education is above the national average.
Heinrich is the lead sponsor of S. 1998, the Middle Class Creating Higher Education Affordability Necessary to Compete Economically (CHANCE) Act, a bill to increase access to affordable post-secondary education for low- to moderate-income students. He is also an original cosponsor of America's College Promise Act, which would make two years of community college free and provide an affordable pathway to a four-year college degree for low-income students.
"In his final address to Congress, I urge President Obama to lay out a bold plan to improve education and ensure all Americans who strive for a college degree have a fair shot at affording it without being crushed by debt," Heinrich added.