Indian American Teen Uma Menon Attend Trump’s State of Union SpeechTop Stories

February 07, 2019 16:03
Indian American Teen Uma Menon Attend Trump’s State of Union Speech

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The 15-year-old Indian American student Uma Menon from Winter Park, Florida, was one among prominent attendees at President Donald Trump State of Union address in Washington on Tuesday.

The 11th-grade student got this opportunity after winning an essay competition organized by Democratic congresswoman Stephanie Murphy. The State of the Union essay competition served as a ideal opportunity for Menon to exhibit her talent.

Menon’s winning essay was on youth civic engagement. “Uma’s essay showed a deep understanding of the impact young voices like hers can have in our political discourse. As she joins me next week to be a part of this annual ceremony, I hope she has the chance to share with other leaders her generation’s vision for building a better and more prosperous future,” Murphy said in a statement.

The day after attending the address, on Wednesday, Menon was quoted by American Bazaar as saying: “It was the first time I attended a political event that was at a federal level. It was interesting to see the influential leaders and the distinguished guests. It was also particularly important because, for the first time, we have a historic number of women in the Congress.”

According to American Bazaar, Menon described Trump’s address saying: “I personally believe that President Trump should embrace more diversity. I heard him yesterday talk about bi-partisanship and I hope to see more of that in the future.”

Menon, a political ambitious girl, wants to get into politics and shine in the field of future. The teen is a supporter of California Senator Kamala Harris. “She is a strong and powerful woman but we are still very early in the race,” she said about the presidential hopeful’s chances.

On her winning essay, Menon said, “I wrote about the historic significance of youth in civic engagement. It is an important topic that is close to my heart and almost all major movements be it the Free Speech Movement during the Vietnam War or Black Lives Matter movement, all of these started with youth civic engagements.”

Menon belongs to an academically inclined family. Her parents Ramkumar Kozhikode and Shailaja Alath are engineer and entrepreneurs, based in Orlando.

“Uma is a very talented writer and she is a poet,” Alath, who is excited about her daughter’s achievement, told the American Bazaar. “When I heard about her essay [prize], I was happy but not surprised.”

Asked about the family’s plans for Uma, when she reaches home in Florida later this evening, Alath quoted by American Bazaar as saying: “I think Uma would straight dive into academics as she has an ACT coming up this weekend.”

On whether Uma, shared with her what she would write in the essay, the mother said, “Uma is very confident and she didn’t share anything with us. She is great in math and both I and her dad are engineers but she also has a unique way with words.”

Uma also wants to use the occasion to bring together members of Congress with student-youth leaders.

Menon is the vice president of her school’s speech and debate team. Her other achievements include being the Florida Regional president for the Future Business Leaders of America. A promising poet, her first book of poems was published by Zoetic Press earlier this year.

The State of Union address is an annual democratic ritual, where the President of the United States gives to the United States Congress information about the state of the Union.

-Sowmya Sangam

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Indian american  donald trump