Alaska Native STEM Student to Join First Lady During State of the Union

Lydia Doza, Alaska Native, is a STEM student at Oregon Tech, and has been invited to join the First Lady during the State of the Union address.
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President Barack Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address on January 12. Lydia Doza, a college student and STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics—advocate will be one of the 23 guests to join First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President in the First Lady’s box.

“Originally from Anchorage, Lydia Doza’s upbringing in three Alaskan tribes—Inupiaq, Tsimshian, and Haida—as well as her grandmother Joanne’s influence taught her the value of an education and the importance of mentorship,” says a press release about the guests.

Doza discovered her passion for engineering through her high school robotics team, and through her involvement with the Obama Administration’s Generation Indigenous initiative to support Native youth. Through Gen-I, she is engaging with rural youth in a number of STEM fields to apply their skills and education.

Doza, 24, is pursuing a degree in software engineering technology at Oregon Tech, where she is also an event organizer for Engineering Ambassadors, which reaches out to kids as young as 3 to encourage engineering careers.

Once she gets her bachelor’s degree, Doza hopes to work as a software engineer while staying involved in her community to promote the importance of STEM. She also wants to pursue a master’s degree in data science, and encourage more women to pursue STEM careers.

Read more about the rest of the guests invited to the First Lady’s box, at WhiteHouse.gov.