Lydia Doza is a software engineering student at the Oregon Institute of Technology who ignored a call from an unknown number she received while in class. After she did not answer the call, she received an interesting text message.
It turns out the call was from The White House, with an invitation to be a guest of The First Lady during President Obama's State of the Union Address. Doza described her skepticism upon receiving the surprising text message:
And then I received a text message saying it was someone from the White House and they left me a return phone number. And I almost didn’t call back because I thought it was a scam of some sort.
Thankfully, Doza returned the call after receiving the text, and now she'll join 22 others as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama. Doza was selected because of her work helping Native American youth get interested in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM). She is an ambassador for the Center for Native American Youth, and her heritage includes three Alaskan tribes: Tsimshian, Haida and Inupiat.
Doza is also a member of the Gen-I Network, which is an initiative started by President Barack Obama to connect and empower indigenous youth. She was drawn to study software engineering because of an interest in robotics during high school. She competed in several robotics competitions, and continues to help find and connect female students with an interest in robotics and STEM fields.