WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama hosted groups advocating for more college opportunity for disadvantaged youth as well as high school educators in an event at the White House Wednesday focused on helping students in under-served communities get to college.
The discussion was kicked off with the movie The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, a coming of age story about two inner city boys who are left to fend for themselves in the Bronx after authorities take their moms into custody.
Following the showing of the film, singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, the film’s producer, and Michelle Obama spoke about the importance of education.
“There is no one who can make it on their own, especially our kids,” Keys said. “That’s where education comes in. It creates a pathway of possibilities.”
The event came a day before President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with more than 100 college and university presidents to discuss access to college education. Michelle Obama will also speak at the event. She stressed the importance not only of being active in the lives of under-served children, but also making sure they have colleges recruiting them.
The first lady has been a constant figure in education policy discussions in the Obama administration.
In November she visited Bell Multicultural High School in Washington with Education Secretary Arne Duncan to meet with sophomore students who could go on to college. She used the visit to reignite attention for Obama’s “North Star” goal of America having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.
Going forward, Michelle Obama plans to continue her efforts.
“For the rest of my time as first lady I’m going to promote these efforts by talking directly to young people,” she said. “When you all are out here working too inspire these kids you not only are building a better future for them but you are building a better future for this country,” Michelle Obama said.