First lady invites American freed from Cuba to State of the Union address
© Anne Wernikoff

First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' Michelle Obama on conversations with her daughters: 'Me and Barack, we can't get a word in' Michelle Obama offers advice with release of young readers' edition of 'Becoming' memoir MORE will host guests at the State of the Union ranging from Alan Gross, newly released from Cuba, to a "Dreamer" and the chief executive of CVS. 


The guests in the first lady's box at the State of the Union, announced by the White House on Monday, reflect White House priorities from community college to healthcare.

The highest-profile guest is Gross, and his wife, Judy. Gross, a U.S. aid worker jailed for bringing Internet equipment, was released from Cuba last month, as President Obama announced a move to normalize relations with the country.

Larry Merlo, the CEO of CVS, is being honored for the company's decision to stop selling tobacco products in its stores.

Ana Zamora is a "Dreamer," a young person brought to the U.S. illegally as a child, and the White House says she has been able to take advantage of Obama's 2012 deferred deportation program.

“As with any other dreamer, my parents came to this country with a dream of a better future for their children," she wrote in a letter to the president in September, the White House said. 

Also invited in Chelsey Davis, a student at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn., who met Obama when he visited this month to announce a proposal to fund free community college. 

Amid a nationwide debate over policing, the first lady will host Los Angeles Police Capt. Phillip Tingirides, who leads a program working with the Watts community to improve relations. 

Malik Bryant, 13, who was also invited to sit with the first lady, lives in Chicago and sent a letter to Santa saying, "I just wanna be safe." A non-profit redirected the letter to the White House, instead of the North Pole.