Palm Beach State student to attend State of the Union address

Charlene Rupert

Earlier this month, Palm Beach State College student Charlene Rupert received an unexpected phone call that left her filled with excitement. On the other end was U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, who asked Rupert to accompany her to President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address in Washington D.C. today.

“When I received the invitation, I honestly didn’t know what to say,” said Rupert. “It was such an honor. For years, I have admired Lois because she is always trying to support immigrants like me find a better way of life here.”

Originally from Venezuela, Rupert came to the United States when she was 11. She received a work permit under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy started by President Obama in 2012 and now works as a legal assistant in the law office of Jan Peter Weiss. She hopes to one day become an immigration attorney.

Rupert is pursuing an associate in arts degree and an associate in science degree at PBSC. She is also active in PBSC’s Students Working for Equal Rights club (now called Equal) and the Dr. Kathryn W. Davis Global Education Center.

Rupert’s passion caught the attention of Frankel and her team, who hope the visit to Washington will further motivate her to continue working toward her goals. Rupert accepted the invite and will attend the speech tonight.

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