First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled a new initiative, called 'Reach Higher, to encourage all teenagers to graduate from high school and go on to college, during a stop at UTSA this afternoon, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"Its about inspiring every student in America to take charge of their future to take charge of their education past high school," Mrs. Obama told about two thousand high school seniors from three dozen San Antonio area high schools who have gathered for San Antonio's unique 'college signing day' event, where students pledge to attend college, work hard, and graduate.
The First Lady told the students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college, that she supports their efforts, and the Reach Higher initiative will 'inspire every student to take charge of their life.'
Wearing a t-shirt from her own Alma Mater, Princeton University, the First Lady said her struggle was probably not unlike what many of the students in the room have gone through.
"Maybe, like me, along the way, somebody told you you would never make it to this day," she said. "This day is for the doubters and for the haters too. This is the day they see how wrong they were."
She encouraged the students to 'reach out and ask for help' to make their way through college, and she said their success is in the national interest.'
"A generation ago, our country had the highest percentage of college graduates in the world, but today, we have dropped all the way to twelfth," Mrs. Obama said. "The education you get today won't just help you compete, it will help our entire country compete in a global economy."
She says 'Reach Higher' will 'spread the spirit of signing day across America.' She said that President Obama and Vice President Biden are also wearing college t-shirts from their colleges.
"This is a call not just to the young people, but to everyone in this country to help with this goal. We need more parents reading to their kids at an early age. We need more businesses offering jobs and internships, we need more foundations offering college scholarships."