East Hawaii News

Student to Join Hirono at State of the Union

January 11, 2016, 2:52 PM HST
* Updated January 11, 2:37 PM
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Senator Hirono with her State of the Union guest, Hawaii native Sierra Schmitz. Photo courtesy of the Office of Mazie Hirono.

Senator Hirono with her State of the Union guest, Hawai’i native Sierra Schmitz. Photo courtesy of the Office of Mazie Hirono.

Sierra Schmitz, who spent some of her childhood years on the Big Island, will accompany Senator Mazie Hirono to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address Wednesday.

The Hawai’i native currently studies at American University, and also spent some of her younger years on Oahu, where she attended La Pietra Hawai’i School for Girls.

“While a quality education is an important key to success in today’s economy, college costs continue to skyrocket. Sierra, who is paying her own way through American University with the help of federal programs, such as Pell Grants, and students like her are why I will continue to fight to ensure that everyone can afford a quality education,” said Senator Hirono. “Students like Sierra are emblematic of the American ideal that with hard work, initiative, and ingenuity, one can achieve success. Inviting Sierra to participate in the State of the Union will help to show the American people the face of our future.”

Currently studying global environmental sustainability and communication, Schmitz is working her way through college and relies on federal resources like Pell Grants.

Schmitz hopes to pursue a career in environmental protection and preservation when she graduates.

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Prior to the address, Schmitz will eat dinner with Senator Hirono. Together, they will watch the State of the Union from the House of Representatives gallery.

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Senator Hirono, like every other senator, was allowed to bring one guest to the address.

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