Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) today announced that he has invited 16-year-old Heleen Archuleta, a constituent from Counselor, as his virtual guest for President Biden’s first joint address to Congress. Ms. Archuleta is a sophomore at Cuba High School and a member of the Navajo Nation who has been distance learning since April of last year. Under the American Rescue Plan, New Mexico schools will receive $979 million to address learning loss, provide education technology, implement public health measures, and meet other critical needs.
In the Senate, Luján continues to fight for students like Ms. Archuleta, who even before the pandemic lacked access to broadband and had long commutes to school. He recently introduced bipartisan legislation to expand eligibility for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) E-Rate program to reimburse schools that equip school buses with Wi-Fi technology. This proposal would make Ms. Archuleta’s two-hour commute to and from school prime time for completing homework assignments and doing research.
“Heleen is an example of the potential of New Mexico’s youth. She’s a dedicated student with dreams of becoming a nurse technician, and I have no doubt that she’ll become a role model for other students in her community,” said Luján. “With the historic investments made by the American Rescue Plan, schools across New Mexico will be able to better serve students like Heleen and help them achieve their dreams. New Mexico’s students deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of where they live, and I’m committed to working in the Senate to ensure that we provide them with the tools they need to succeed.”