Victoria Soto To Be Honored by Obama; Brother Attending State of the Union Speech


Victoria Soto, the heroic Latina teacher who helped save the lives of many of her first-grade children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will posthumously receive the 2012 Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor, on Friday in a ceremony at The White House.
Carlos Soto, the brother of Vicki Soto, will attend the State of the Union address as a guest of U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, on Tuesday night, Feb. 12.
President Obama has selected 18 outstanding Americans to receive the award this Friday, Feb. 15, for performing “exemplary deeds of service for their country and their fellow citizens.” The White House announcement for the award said, “On December 14, 2012, the names of six courageous women were forever etched into the heart of our Nation as unthinkable tragedy swept through Newtown, Connecticut. Some of these individuals had joined Sandy Hook Elementary School only weeks before; others were preparing to retire after decades of service. All had dedicated themselves to their students and their community, working long past the school bell to give the children in their care a future worthy of their talents.” Five other educators also slain at the same time as Soto will be honored, too.
Congresswoman DeLauro said, “Having Carlos at the State of the Union will be a powerful reminder that the victims of gun violence are not statistics. And they are not even just the people who are physically wounded by a bullet. They are parents, siblings, families, co-workers and friends. The Sotos and the other Sandy Hook families have shown tremendous courage by speaking out when they are still grieving. Upholding the legacy of them and their loved ones is an honor we must all try and live up to.”
Another Latina is being honored by President Obama. Maria Gomez, from Baltimore, Md., founded Mary’s Center 25 years ago with the mission to build better futures through the delivery of health care, family literacy and job training. Mary’s Center is part of the working group launching First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Read Let’s Move Campaign.”