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 before attending 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, the older of the Obamas' two daughters, is a 17-year-old senior at Sidwell Friends. It is an exclusive private school in the District of Columbia that 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 interning on the set of HBO's "Girls," starring Lena Dunham. She spent the summer of 2014 in California working 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, and 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, and 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 a recent 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 (24)
  • tylerl-ver
    5/03/2016 - 06:21 p.m.

    Malia could spend her time traveling, work or pursue an activity or another meaningful project. It will help round out her education and give her life experience.

  • katherinep-6-bar
    5/03/2016 - 07:57 p.m.

    Malia is close to her family do I would expect her to spend the gap year between high school and college to be with her family. Her and her family might take a trip somewhere because by then Barack should be out of office and living comfortably at his home in Chicago with his family. She would also be studying to make sure that she doesn't forget anything because to go to a Harvard she would need to have excellent grades to get in.

  • theaw-4-bar
    5/03/2016 - 10:24 p.m.

    Malia might spend her gap year traveling, working, or spending time with her family. Malia has decided to go to Harvard University. "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." This is probably what Malia will do, along with reconnecting to the real world, and moving out of the white house. I liked this article because it's interesting finding out what career path Malia Obama would choose. I also wonder if she has a greater possibility getting into those elite schools because she is related to the president.

  • genevieveb-6-bar
    5/04/2016 - 10:33 a.m.

    Malia might spend her "gap" year interning at other film sets. In the middle of the article, it states,"Malia spent last summer in New York City interning on the set of HBO's 'Girls,' starring Lena Dunham. She spent the summer of 2014 in California working as a production assistant on 'Extant,' a now-canceled CBS sci-fi drama that starred Halle Berry" (paragraph 5). Since Malia has spent her free time working on television in the past, it is probable that she would also spend a full year interning at another filmography stage. Malia Obama might spend her gap year interning at another studio.

    I found this article sweet because I find the Obama family to be kind and sentimental, and, due to this article, it seems that my instincts were confirmed.

  • nicks-ver
    5/04/2016 - 11:23 a.m.

    not sure

  • dianner-2-bar
    5/04/2016 - 06:59 p.m.

    Malia might spend her "gap" year in movie set maybe filming her own. I like this article because it is true what Mr.Obama had said that you don't have to choose by the name but on its qualities.

  • collinf-2-bar
    5/04/2016 - 10:16 p.m.

    Malia might spend her gap year doing what Harvard encourages her to do. "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."

    I found this article interesting because I want to go to Harvard.

  • jacks-6-bar
    5/05/2016 - 06:55 p.m.

    Malia might spend her "gap" year by studying films of the world, and travelling to their many, intricate sets! The article states: "The first lady has said Malia wants to be a filmmaker. Malia spent last summer in New York City interning on the set of HBO's 'Girls,' starring Lena Dunham." Since Malia is so profoundly and seriously interested in the subject of films, therefore likely to major in it, it would make sense for her to be studying it in any way she can. The article describes Harvard's, the school she is going to, criteria of spending a year or so of travel in search of study and experience with culture/profession/the world's "clockwork". If Malia is truly interested on the subject of filming, she'll probably spend her year of travelling researching and analyzing the fundamentals of film, and how it varies based on regions, countries, etc.; it be beneficial to her studies, and her year off will be well spent and have met the criteria perfectly.
    I found the article inspiring; Malia, though an important, respected person having high expectations, is able to live a relatively normal and, in this case, successful life. It was interesting to see Harvard's concept on a year of travel; I see how it can be beneficial.

  • avab-4-bar
    5/05/2016 - 07:42 p.m.

    She may spend her Gap year with her family.

    I found this article interesting because I didn't know how old Obama's daughter were, and Harvard is an amazing school and Obama must be so proud to publicly announce the success in his family.

  • samuelh-3-bar
    5/05/2016 - 08:41 p.m.

    Malia might spend her year long gap before going to college helping her family transition back into a normal life style, and to help her sister with high school. She could also spend her year long gap by going back to being an assistant or being an intern at the national Zoo in Washington.

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