Four SoCal residents chosen to attend State of the Union address

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Four SoCal residents chosen to attend State of the Union address
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Four people from Southern California have been selected to sit in the box with First Lady Michelle Obama for the State of the Union address.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Four people from Southern California have been selected to sit in the box with First Lady Michelle Obama for the State of the Union address.

The four headed to Washington D.C. where they will be recognized by President Barack Obama Tuesday night for serving their community.

In 2012, Los Angeles Unified School District adult education teacher Katrice Mubiru wrote to the president about the needs of career-technical education. In 2013, Mubiru introduced him during his visit to the Los Angeles Trade and Technical College.

Now, she's been handpicked by the White House to watch the State of the Union.

"I just couldn't believe it. It was like winning the lottery," she said. "It's a great opportunity for me to represent the school and the community, and I am just very grateful to be selected."

Also invited is 27-year-old Prophet Walker, who spent six years in prison for robbery, but was able to turn his life around.

He attended Loyola Marymount University, works as a construction engineer and recently ran for the California Assembly.

Joining Walker will be Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Phillip Tingirides, who will also be honored for his efforts in Watts to bring police and residents together to crack down on violent crime.

Tingirides will also be joined by his wife, LAPD Sgt. Emada Tingirides, who works for the Watts Community Safety Partnership.

"When I got a phone call from the White House asking if we could come and be a part of the State of the Union...I've got to tell you I was speechless," Phillip Tingirides said.

Also set to sit with the First Lady is Ledaya Epps, a single mother from Compton who took part in the construction bootcamp program and is now building the Crenshaw-LAX light rail line.

The White House released a list of 18 other people who are invited to the State of the Union address. It airs at 9 p.m. ET.