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First lady Michelle Obama asks graduates to use their education to effect change

Monday, May 19, 2014

Graduation season is in full swing and graduates at all levels – from kindergarten through college – will be hearing words of advice and inspiration from their commencement speakers. One of the more notable speakers in 2014 has been first lady Michelle Obama, who has spoken on a number of topics ranging from preparing for college to embracing diversity. 

Giving back to others
At Dillard University in New Orleans, Obama talked with graduates and guests about all of the possibilities their future holds thanks to attaining a college education.

"You all have opportunities and skills and education that so many folks who came before you never could have dreamed of," Obama said to graduates. "So just imagine the kind of impact that you're going to make. Imagine how you can inspire those around you to reach higher and complete their own education."

The first lady went on to ask the graduates to actively make an effort to help others gain their dream of a college education. She suggested volunteering at an after-school program or becoming a mentor for high school students applying to college. These "small" efforts, she said, will allow the current graduates to pass on their advice and experience to those who may need it most.

Embracing diversity
In addition to addressing college students, Obama spent time in Topeka, Kansas, speaking to high school seniors about their next steps. Her speech at the Topeka School District Senior Recognition Day took on special importance because it occurred on the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education court case, which began in the city.

Keeping this event in mind, Obama told students that it is up to them to enact big changes in the world. She also noted that while this endeavor will not be easy, it is important that individuals continue striving for a better life with a little help from their education.

"Every day, you have the power to choose our better history – by opening your hearts and minds, by speaking up for what you know is right, by sharing the lessons of Brown v. Board of Education – the lessons you all learned right here in Topeka – wherever you go for the rest of your lives," Obama said. "And I know you all can do it." - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited programs that most interest you.

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First lady Michelle Obama asks graduates to use their education to effect change
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