12-year-old Delaware boy guest of First Lady at State of the Union Address

ByChristie Ileto WPVI logo
Monday, January 11, 2016
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A 12-year-old Delaware boy will be the guest of the First Lady Tuesday for President Obama's final State of the Union Address.

BEAR, Del. (WPVI) -- A 12-year-old Delaware boy will be the guest of the First Lady Tuesday for President Obama's last State of the Union Address.

In 48 hours, Braeden Mannering will be heading with his mom, Christy, to Washington for the big event.

In response to the announcement, Braeden tweeted Sunday morning, "Still pinching myself to make sure I'm not dreaming #SOTU #DreamBigger Thank you."

This won't be Braeden's first or second visit with the First Lady, but it is his first time going to Capital Hill.

He says he still cant believe he's one of her special guests.

"Well I was really excited, I was really happy that we'd be going to the State of the Union," said Braeden.

"A name of the woman who called she said, 'The First Lady would like to invite Braeden to be her guest at the State of the Union Address. Do you think you'd be able to fit that into your schedule?' " said Mannering. "And I said anything else in our schedule we will move, you know, absolutely he would like to go."

After Braeden attended the White House Kids' "State Dinner" as part of the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, he began his own nonprofit called Brae's Brown Bags aka 3B.

First lady Michelle Obama, left, and Tanya Steel, right, applaud as Braeden Mannering, of Del., speaks at the "Kids State Dinner" in the East Room of the White House.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

On the 3B webpage, Braeden writes, "What started as one brown bag branched off into multiple important directions including: three specialty bags, giving talks to groups about food insecurity with a special interest in talking with youth and in raising money to help other hunger relief organizations."

We asked Braeden, "Knowing that the president is going to be speaking about social inequality, how does that make you feel that you're tackling that issue in your own community?"

"Well it's not something every 12-year-old will be doing, I know that," said Braeden. "And it actually makes me feel proud. It makes me feel proud that other people that I've talked to also have very good ideas and want to do stuff like me."

Braeden is in the sixth grade at Gauger-Cobbs Middle School. He lives in Bear with his mother Christy, stepfather Brian, brother Finnegan and sister Amelia. Braeden's father, Michael, his fiance Jennifer and their son Michael live in Middletown, Delaware.

On the 3B webpage, when describing himself, Braeden says, "I like to draw, swim, and write stories" and "I'm a little bit addicted to Minecraft."

He adds, "My ongoing mission is not only to feed people today, but to raise awareness about the problems of food insecurity and poverty, and empower and inspire youth across the nation to become part of the solution."