Anthony Mendez is joining the First Lady as a guest at the 2015 State of the Union address.
Anthony Mendez is joining the First Lady as a guest at the 2015 State of the Union address on January 20. Watch it live at 9 p.m. ET at WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU.
Anthony Mendez became the first member of his family to graduate from high school -- and not without overcoming countless obstacles on his path to success.
Anthony grew up in the South Bronx with his mother and three siblings. In ninth grade, his best friend was shot in his neighborhood. One year later, Anthony's family was evicted, and they moved into a homeless shelter.
But none of that kept Anthony from completing his high school education. After moving into the homeless shelter, he would get up at 4:30 a.m. for six months to get to school on time -- telling kids at school that he was staying with an aunt.
When he met the First Lady after receiving his diploma last summer, Anthony told his story, saying that he's learned to be proud of his past.
Anthony has reason to be proud of his future, too: He's now a freshman at the University of Hartford where he plans to study Political Science.
The State of the Union 2015: Everything You Need to Know