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Chelsea teenager at White House today accepting award for Boston Children's Chorus

Posted by Kristi Palma  November 22, 2013 09:33 AM

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Amber Rodriguez's passion for singing has taken her all the way to the White House.

Amber, 17, of Chelsea, a member of the Boston Children's Chorus, is accepting the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award for the Boston Children's Chorus from Michelle Obama today. She is in Washington, D.C. with David Howse, executive director of the chorus.

Watch the live feed of the presentation at the White House today at 2:15 p.m.

The Boston Children's Chorus is one of 12 programs nationwide receiving the prestigious 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, which recognizes exemplary after-school programs from across the country.

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Here is Amber, left, with singer Melinda Dolittle after a concert this past summer. (Photo: Boston Children's Chorus).

The Boston Children's Chorus was chosen from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists. The award, administered by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, is the highest honor such organizations can achieve in the United States.

Why was the organization chosen? For its life-changing impact on the students involved. The chorus enhances life skills, fosters positive relationships between kids and adults, and improves the performance skills and cultural awareness of the kids involved. Not only that, but the program has had a positive effect on academic achievement, which in turn impacts graduation rates and college enrollment.

Senator Elizabeth Warren congratulated the organization this week.

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Warren is pictured, center, with (left to right) David Howse, executive director of the Boston Children's Chorus, singer Khamari Barnes, singer Lydia Guterman, and Ben Hires from the Boston Children's Chorus staff. (Photo: Boston Children's Chorus)

The Boston Children's Chorus prides itself on transcending social barriers through a love of music. Through intense choral training and high-profile performances, the students learn discipline, leadership skills, and proudly represent the city of Boston.

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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.
Jennifer Clark Estes is a teacher, writer, blogger, and the mother of four young children. In her free time, she blogs at A Mom's World, plays with the kids (or chauffeurs them around), and is desperately seeking a quiet spot so she can read a book. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferCEstes.
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