Archbishop Carroll High School Student Thrilled To Be Honored at the White House
On January 25, Bertha Castaneda was honored at a White House reception by President Barack Obama and received a private tour of the White House before the ceremony.
The White House Champions of Change program honors citizens across the country who are using projects and initiatives to move their communities forward. The honorees have each taken great strides to improve the lives of others through charitable work, faith and advocacy.
The child of hard-working Salvadoran immigrants, Bertha Castaneda attended Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School prior to attending Archbishop Carroll High School in northeast Washington, a Catholic high school of the Archdiocese of Washington. Asked what she was most looking forward to about the White House, she said she was most excited about meeting President Obama. She mentioned that all of her classmates at her Catholic school really appreciate President Obama and that they wanted her to convey their best wishes to hi.
President Obama recognized Bertha as an example of the hardworking students of Archbishop Carroll. She tutors as part of the National Honor Society and serves as a peer minister, seeking out students who are struggling with the social and spiritual crises of adolescence and counseling them. In addition, she, coaches younger students as part of the Augustine Scholars and started her own day camp when she was in 10th grade, recruiting neighborhood children to participate. On top of all of her extracurricular activities, Bertha has maintained a 4.07 GPA and like many immigrant students, Bertha serves as her family’s primary translator, handling bureaucratic responsibilities for her family that other teens don’t have to contend with.
Archbishop Carroll High School serves minority students with limited financial means and provides them an excellent Catholic education.