Mrs. Obama gets kids pumped about college
Mrs. Obama gets kids pumped about college First lady Michelle Obama, accompanied by Jay Pharoah, left, Common, second from right, and Sway, dances on stage during the the 2016 College Signing Day, Tuesday, April 26, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mrs. Obama gets kids pumped about college
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High school seniors on their way to college were feted by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and a host of celebrities April 26 as she encouraged them to make the most of their college experiences, get involved in campus life and ask for help when they need it.
"We are so proud of everything you've achieved, and we don't take the struggle for granted," Obama told a roaring crowd of young people in attendance at an event in New York City's Harlem.
Obama was marking her third and last College Signing Day, part of the Reach Higher initiative she started to encourage young people to extend their educations past high school. The events were in Detroit and San Antonio the first two years.
Obama told the students the goal wasn't just to get into college, but to get a degree.
"The minute you get to college this fall, I want you to get right back to work," she said. "Today is not the end of your journey. It's just the beginning."
She recounted her experience starting at Princeton University, in Princeton, New Jersey, where she felt out of her depth as a first-generation college attendee until she reached out for support.
"I am no different from you all," she said. "My parents didn't have money. I went to public school. We didn't have a whole lot of examples to follow. But I know that if I can do it, you can do it, too."
The event brought out numerous celebrities, who wore T-shirts from their alma maters, spoke about their college experiences and congratulated the students. Among the speakers were Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro, "black-ish" star Tracee Ellis Ross and "Mike & Molly" star Melissa McCarthy.
The New York City Department of Education is trying to boost the number of students who attend and graduate from college through initiatives like starting college visits as early as middle school.
Alexandra Lu, an 18-year-old senior at Brooklyn Technical High School, said she will be a freshman at Stony Brook University in the fall. She said she was thrilled to be cheered on by such famous faces.
"They made it seem like it's really exciting, so I was really excited, too," she said.
Shaik Jaman, a 17-year-old who'll be in the first generation of his family to go to college when he attends Hunter College this fall, said he was inspired by Mrs. Obama's words.
"It motivates me," said Jaman, who also goes to Brooklyn Tech. "Maybe I can be just as great as her or even better."

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Why do incoming college students need encouragement?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • mercedesb-wal
    4/29/2016 - 01:48 p.m.

    I believe that in coming college students need encouragement because a lot of students don't believe that they can make it in college because maybe they are first generation college attendees and they have a lot of pressure to do good to giving them encouragement would boost their self esteem.

  • ShawnaWeiser-Ste
    4/29/2016 - 02:35 p.m.

    I wish someone would get me pumped for college. I know that I have about two years till college but I'm still kinda scared. Anyhow, I think its great that she is helping students out.

  • briannec-ste
    4/29/2016 - 05:02 p.m.

    I would love to see The Obama's and get an encouraging talk from them. They must really support the kids.

  • ravend-bag
    5/02/2016 - 06:54 p.m.

    It is very hard to transition into a place where you are all alone and where you would have to get used to all the people that bug you and people that just won't stop talking or doing everything on your own, and managing your money, and how to get money without your parents help. If you think about it, college is or may seem a little scary for some people actually being in the real world.

  • eliset-bag
    5/03/2016 - 11:43 p.m.

    they need encouragement because they have another four years of college besides high school already over and most people just want to quit and not go on because the are too "LAZY"!!

  • julianc-bag
    5/04/2016 - 11:32 p.m.

    Yes it means more to have an outsider talk to you about college because it motivates you more.

  • TaylorSeifert-Ste
    7/26/2016 - 10:17 p.m.

    Incoming college students need encouragement because many of them are going to school, not knowing how they will pay for it. Some are also the first generation of their family to go to college, so they have less experience than the students whose parents attended college. Plus, college, often another four or more years of school, does not sound welcoming or exciting at all. The students needed someone to give them hope and remind them that they have what it takes to succeed and strive while doing so.

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