(CNN) - The White House announced Monday three of what may be at least two dozen guests in the first lady's box at President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.
The guests include an eighth-grader who wrote a letter to congressmen appealing for help in rebuilding her deteriorating school, a Miami banker who gave away $60 million of his own money to his employees, and a Miami-area bank teller.
Ty'Sheoma Bethea, an eighth-grader at the J.V. Martin Junior High School in Dillon, South Carolina, received the prized invite after a letter she wrote to lawmakers appealing for help rebuilding her school made its way to President Obama.
Obama referenced the school during his first press conference earlier this month as evidence of crumbling schools across the country.
The White House said Leonard Abess Jr., the banker who gave away $60 million of proceeds he received over the sale of shares of City National Bank in Florida, demonstrates the kind of "responsibility" the president has called for from high-profile financial CEOs.
Geneva Lawson, a 51-year-old bank teller who benefited from Abess' generosity, will also sit with the first lady. According to the Miami Herald, she has worked as a collection teller, payroll teller, savings teller, print shop clerk, and proof/bookkeeping clerk.
The practice of inviting guests to sit in the House Gallery is a tradition dating back to 1982 when president Ronald Reagan recognized Lenny Skutnick - a good Samaritan who pulled a survivor out of the frozen Potomac River in Washington, DC after an Air Florida plane crashed into the 14th Street Bridge.
Since then, presidential administrations steadily increased the number of invitees to the first lady box, often including prominent athletes and celebrities, citizen heroes, members of the military, and individuals likely to benefit from policies proposed by the president.
Last year, first lady Laura Bush hosted 27 guests, including New Orleans jazz musician Irvin Mayfield and registered nurse Tara Kunkel.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also announced Monday hero-U.S. Airways pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger will be a guest in the Speaker's House Gallery box.
This just in: Rush Limbaugh is reporting that the middle schooler cheated on her 4th period math homework. He is claiming this is an obvious sign of the corruption inherent in the Democratic Party.
And here come the jokes about "the first lady's box."
And these GOP lawmakers think that rebuilding our schools is wasteful spending. What idiots!
Well now...........AMERICANS instead of some lying Iraqi that will give a reason for the carnage of a war.
BRAVO for finally caring about real Americans!!!!!!
I remember that plane going down in the Potomac. That guy jumping into that freezing water had us wondering if we would have done the same thing.
Perhaps the title of this article should be stated differently.
Enough talking. They need to get the show on the road to sucess. The talking surely must have been discussed enough to figure out how to deal with the economic situations. I still do not understand why Medicare is not being taken care of better as one day all people will have to be on the program. We certanly need to take care of the people that have made our country possible. Stop given so much to the people on medicaid that have a no care attitude and have their hands out to everything free. We need to stop all these young people from having babies just to get welfare. Enough is enough.
Seriously CNN...you couldn't be more careful about it? You had to string the 4 words "first lady box revealed" together?
Michelle is really startingn to make a great impression. Just be yourself. You are doing great!
Don't matter to me. I'm not watching that fraud go at defrauding this country any more.
And here I am thinking from the headline that you had scoop that Michelle was caught cheating on Barack with 3 other guys....
And why do we have laura Bush CNN......
We need another Peoples cable channel.
Another reason why Americans hate their Media!
BRAVO AGAIN! I thought Mrs. Obama was fantastic when she showed her spirt and committment to the American people while campaigning with her husband. I see that growing more each day. I spent almost 3 years at a center serving military families and resigned because as a taxpayer I did not like what I saw happening in regards to the Defense Contractor that oversaw the employees where I worked and lack of services they gave. I can't wait to see how she becomes involved with the military family issues. Bringing folks to the speech to shows just how "open door" she is. BRAVO..BRAVO..BRAVO.
U go Ms. Obama! I will be there tonight!
What, no Joe the Plumber ? You mean, actual people who actually have done something above-board and admirable? Just another example of change (and people) you can believe in.
cnn this is not a state of the union. should not be filed there.
It's nice to see that this world still has thoughtful, caring, and generous people like the ones mentioned in this story. More importantly, it's nice to see them being recognized in events like this. God bless all.
GOD BLESS our First Family, they are truly proving the American people is the PRIORITY when it comes to governing. The more the White House is approachable, the MORE welcoming Americans will feel in regards to being connected to their First Family. It starts with little steps, but every step COUNTS toward rebuilding our country.
I wish I were a guest of the First Lady. Maybe one of these days.
CNN, we can not afford anymore Politics. Please stop bullshit and put the right picture~
Good choices all. I think this guest program should be extended to major speeches. The guest should be those that insprire bill or policy and or those that should be recognized for heroic acts.
What an honor to have the opportunity to sit with the First lady. I teach Middle School and I cannot imagine how elated my students would be for the chance to talk to this President. God bless the CEO that would give away his own money. The teller has a great job and I am glad that she is being recognized for her work. May God bless this great nation. WE will come through this crisis.
What a excellent idea. We should start including our young people in government. The earlier the better.
Well, will she invite the little old lady who was planted by the administration in Florida to sit with her too???