Malia Obama is going to Harvard – but not right away President Barack Obama jokes with his daughter Malia Obama as they walk to board Air Force One from the Marine One helicopter Thursday, April 7, 2016, leaving Chicago en route to Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin/Susan Walsh)
Malia Obama is going to Harvard – but not right away
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President Barack Obama's daughter Malia will take a year off after graduating high school in June. Then she will attend Harvard University in 2017, the president and his wife said.
 
Harvard encourages admitted students to defer for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work, or spend time in another meaningful way. The student must not enroll in a program at another college that would grant that student a degree.
 
Malia is the older of the Obamas' two daughters and is a 17-year-old senior at Sidwell Friends. It is an exclusive private school in the District of Columbia. The school also helped educate another first daughter, Chelsea Clinton, in the 1990s. Malia's younger sister, Sasha, 14, is a freshman at Sidwell. Malia is set to graduate high school in June. She turns 18 on the Fourth of July.
 
Obama has spoken publicly about dreading the day when Malia leaves for college. The decision for Malia to take a gap year could keep her closer to home as her family prepares for another major transition next year. They will leave the White House and return to normal life. Obama plans to live in Washington for a few more years so Sasha can finish high school. The president and his wife, Michelle, still own a home in Chicago.
 
The first lady has said Malia wants to be a filmmaker. Malia spent last summer in New York City. She was an intern on the set of HBO's "Girls," starring Lena Dunham. She spent the summer of 2014 in California. There, she worked as a production assistant on "Extant," a now-canceled CBS sci-fi drama that starred Halle Berry. Malia has also had internships at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington.
 
The president turned down an invitation to speak at Malia's Sidwell graduation. He said he would be too emotional.
 
"I'm going to be sitting there with dark glasses, sobbing," he told Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on her talk show.
 
Obama grew up without his father, who was born in Kenya and is now deceased. The president has spoken of his desire to be there for his kids. The bond between Obama and his children was readily apparent. He often has been seen holding hands with either daughter getting on or off the presidential aircraft or on the family's walks through Lafayette Park to attend services at St. John's Episcopal Church.
 
"Both of my daughters are wonderful people. Malia's more than ready to leave but I'm not ready for her to leave," Obama told DeGeneres. "She's one of my best friends. It's going to be hard for me not to have her around all the time. But she's ready to go. She's just a really smart, capable person and she's ready to make her own way."
 
Malia visited at least a dozen public and private colleges during her search.
 
The president is a 1983 graduate of Columbia University. Mrs. Obama graduated from Princeton in 1985. The president and first lady earned law degrees at Harvard.
 
Malia also checked out the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford; New York University; the University of Pennsylvania; Barnard; Tufts; Brown; Yale and Wesleyan.
 
She appears to have disregarded her parents' advice. The president and first lady have said college-bound students shouldn't limit themselves to just a handful of elite schools.
 
"The one thing I've been telling my daughters is that I don't want them to choose a name," Mrs. Obama said in an interview with Seventeen magazine. "I don't want them to think, 'Oh I should go to these top schools.' We live in a country where there are thousands of amazing universities. So, the question is: What's going to work for you?"

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How might Malia spend her “gap” year?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (78)
  • allyt-612-
    5/05/2016 - 01:24 p.m.

    Malia might spend her year off figuring out what she wants to do when she gets older. She also will probably have to get her self and life together.

  • tylera-1-bar
    5/05/2016 - 06:44 p.m.

    Malia could spend her gap year in many different ways. She could spend the year traveling, pursuing a special project or activity. Also she could go to work or spend time in another meaningful way. I chose this article because it is awesome that the President's daughter is going to Harvard for college.

  • vincents-1-bar
    5/05/2016 - 08:22 p.m.

    Malia might spend her gap year doing film work,which is one of her passions. I think this because it was stated that,"She was an intern on the set of HBO's "Girls," starring Lena Dunham. She spent the summer of 2014 in California. There, she worked as a production assistant on "Extant," a now-canceled CBS sci-fi drama that starred Halle Berry." Since she spent so much time and effort in the summer with film, she might take that up in her gap year. Also like many other gap year people, she might take "one year to travel," or "spend time in another meaningful way."
    My opinion on this story is that I did not know that Obama's daughters were so old.

  • sethg-2-bar
    5/05/2016 - 08:56 p.m.

    After finishing highschool, Harvard gives students a year of time off from school. Malia Obama will spend this time to work, travel, pursue projects, and other meaningful stuff. She will be attending Harvard University in 2017. I found this article interesting because the president's daughter will be attending Harvard.

  • angelad-6-bar
    5/05/2016 - 09:16 p.m.

    Malia might spend her gap year pursing her passions, such as film. She could also just use the year to get closer to her parents since next year they are leaving the white house and returning to normal life, "The decision for Malia to take a gap year could keep her closer to home as her family prepares for another major transition next year. " (paragraph 4) I found this article interesting because I did know that much time had passed already! And it's interesting to see how the president is taking Malia's leaving for collage.

  • katherinec-3-bar
    5/05/2016 - 09:59 p.m.

    Malia Obama might spend a gap year at home because it will be the first year her father isn't president. She will begin to get closer with her family and she can pursue her passion of filming. The text states that the Obama's will be staying in Washington for a few more years which means they can grow closer as a normal family and not be the president's family. I found this article interesting because I can't even imagine Malia Obama going to college. All of the security she would need is insane.

  • josepht-2-bar
    5/05/2016 - 11:14 p.m.

    Malia might spend her gap year doing film work, which is one of her passions. "The first lady has said Malia wants to be a filmmaker. Malia spent last summer in New York City. She was an intern on the set of HBO's "Girls," starring Lena Dunham." I think that his article was vary interesting, because I didn't know that Malia wanted to be a filmmaker when she grows up.

  • isabellaw-1-bar
    5/05/2016 - 11:31 p.m.

    Malia might spend her "gap" year by spending time at home with her family. "The decision for Malia to take a gap year could keep her closer to home as her family prepares for another major transition next year."

    I found this article not very suprising or interesting.

  • olgan-4-bar
    5/06/2016 - 12:14 a.m.

    Malia might spend her gap year focusing on her hobbies like film and spending time with her family. The article states " she spent the summer of 2014 in California. There, she worked as a production assistant " meaning that she is interesting in production. Since her father will no longer be serving as president, I would assume that she would also spend time with him and the rest of her family before attending Harvard. I did not think this article was interesting because she could have gotten into any college so it doesn't surprise me at all that she chose Harvard.

  • jackr-2-bar
    5/06/2016 - 12:31 a.m.

    Malia might spend her "gap" year adventuring, community service, or spending time with her family. The article says, "Harvard encourages admitted students to defer for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work, or spend time in another meaningful way. The student must not enroll in a program at another college that would grant that student a degree." This article is interesting because I did not know that Harvard did this with their students.

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