WASHINGTON, DC- On Monday, January 29, Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-CA) is attending the State of the Union address with Cal Poly Pomona student veteran Sommarani “Mayra” Chan as her guest. Mayra’s family fled from the Khmer Rouge Genocide in Cambodia and sought protection in a Thailand refugee camp. In 1985, the family resettled in the U.S., where Mayra became a first-generation American.
“It is an honor to have veteran and Cal Poly Pomona graduate student Mayra Chan as my guest to the State of the Union. Mayra’s incredible story and commitment serves as a shining example of the value and strength that immigrants, refugees, and their children bring to our nation,” said Rep. Torres.
“I am grateful to be here. As a veteran and first-generation college student, to be here representing something greater than myself is truly an honor. It is a once in a lifetime experience to be able to attend tonight’s State of the Union as a guest of Congresswoman Torres,” said Chan.
From 2006 to 2014, Mayra served in the United States Army Reserve where she did one tour in Afghanistan and a humanitarian mission in Panama in 2009. During her time in Cal Poly Pomona, Mayra has kept busy by focusing her work on serving the student veteran community on campus as a student employee at the Veteran Resource Center. Mayra earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition last year and is currently working on her Master of Science in Agriculture, concentrating her thesis research on combating obesity amongst the veteran community.
Congresswoman Torres’ guest is a personification of the policies she continues to push for in Congress that ensure that the Inland Empire remains a welcoming place for all and that veterans have access to the tools they need to thrive when they return home.