She may no longer be the First Lady of the United States, but in terms of remaining an advocate for students across the country and their pursuit of higher education, Michelle Obama isn’t going anywhere.
The former first lady participated in MTV’s “College Signing Day” this past May 5th, which celebrated high school students’ pursuit of higher education.
During her time in the White House, Mrs. Obama encouraged and supported three annual College Signing Days as a way to honor the students who planned to continue with their educations or to pursue professional training after high school.
The Hill reported that Obama “encouraged students to share where they are going to college across social media on May 5th with #CollegeSigningDay. The former first lady hosted the event in Harlem in New York City in 2016, Detroit in 2015 and in San Antonio, Texas in 2014.”
Mrs. Obama has always been a strong advocate for education, stating that for her, it’s more than policy—it’s personal.
CNN noted that the former first lady got candid about the opportunities her own experience with education allowed her: “Neither of my parents and hardly anyone in the neighborhood where I grew up went to college. But thanks to a lot of hard work and plenty of financial aid, I had the opportunity to attend some of the finest universities in this country. That education opened so many doors and gave me the confidence to pursue my ambitions and have a voice in the world. For me, education was power.”
Michelle Obama was on the honor roll for four years in high school, taking advanced placement classes. She graduated in 1981 as the salutatorian of her class. She attended Princeton for her B.A. in Sociology and minored in African American studies. She later attended Harvard Law School to earn her Juris Doctor.
In terms of working hard to achieve educational milestones, Mrs. Obama certainly got there, and now she is a fierce proponent of support for the students who want to do the same, despite the struggles they may face in getting there.
In her official video for the May 5th event, Obama expresses her faith in the great things students will be able to achieve with their educations.
“One of the greatest honors of my life was serving as your first lady, and one of my greatest joys is hearing the stories of young people like you pursuing your dreams through education. I love hearing about how you’ve challenged yourself, how you’ve overcome obstacles. You are working to create a life you can be proud of. And I want you to know I’m rooting for you every step of the way.”
If you ever feel doubt in your own abilities in the realms of higher education and continuing studies, it may help to remember that Michelle Obama believes in you. Her advocacy for education is inspiring and encouraging, and her powerful voice is one that always has a knack for picking people back up. We’ll leave you with her final words from the video: “Trust me, you’ve got this.”
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