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RMHS student gets personal invite to State of the Union address

Published February 9, 2023

Rolling Meadows High School student Kate Foley received the invitation of a lifetime when she was personally invited by First Lady Jill Biden to the State of the Union address.

Foley and Dr. Biden first met in November when the first lady visited Rolling Meadows High Schools as part of National Apprenticeship Week. They sat beside each other during the roundtable discussion on the District 214 Career Pathways Program. The high school sophomore shared she is studying computer-integrated manufacturing and hopes to pursue a career as a biomedical engineer. 

Kate left a big impression. Last week, she received a phone call from the first lady inviting her to attend the State of the Union address. She was one of 26 guests and had the honor to sit beside her again, this time in the First Lady’s viewing box. 

The First Lady said she was impressed by Kate. She tweeted, "You light up the classroom when you talk about your dreams of becoming an engineer -- I am honored to have you join me at the State of the Union."

“It’s really crazy that she remembers me,” said Foley. “I met her in November, once, so for me to have made a big impression, and realize, 'Oh my God, she remembered me,' is an unearthly feeling."

According to the White House, each guest was invited because they personify issues or themes to be addressed by the President in his speech. Kate represented the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to strengthening our economy and building pathways from high school to good-paying jobs, through career-connected learning.  

On Thursday, Kate was featured on the first lady’s social media channels. Dr. Jill Biden said “Kate is on a path for a bright career thanks to the career-connected learning programs at her high school. When we say our Union is strong, it is because of young Americans just like her.”

District 214 Co-Interim Superintendent Ken Arndt said “It was already an honor to have hosted First Lady Jill Biden in November, and to have her invite one of our students to the State of the Union Address is incredible. Dr. Biden and Kate truly shared a connection during their roundtable discussion on our Career Pathways Program. We are thrilled the first lady thought of us and thankful she provided this life-changing opportunity to one of our students."