First lady kicks off education advocacy efforts

Nov 13, 2013 by

michelle-pig-450x296Michelle Obama faced an auditorium of low-income students at Bell Multicultural High School in the District on Tuesday and urged them to aggressively chase a college degree, saying it would lift their own lives and the fortunes of the nation.

Obama’s appearance kicked off her new campaign to prod and inspire high schoolers around the country to graduate and enroll in college, trade school or some type of higher education. “We’re going to talk about the power that you have to fulfill your potential and unlock opportunities that you can’t even begin to imagine for yourselves right now,” she said.

She noted that the United States has slipped from first in the world in college graduation rates to 12th. “That’s not acceptable,” said Obama, who joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the Columbia Heights school. Her message focused on personal responsibility and hard work, not the administration’s education policies.

In highly personal terms, Obama spoke about her own education and the path that took her from a working-class home on Chicago’s South Side to the Ivy League and the White House.

“At 6 a.m. every morning, I had to get on a city bus and ride for an hour, sometimes more, just to get to school,” she said, describing her commute to one of the city’s most selective high schools. “And I was willing to do that because I was willing to do whatever it took for me to go to college.”

While President Obama and policymakers are trying to tamp down college costs and expand access, it’s up to students to seize opportunities, she said.

via First lady kicks off education advocacy efforts – The Washington Post.

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