First lady's high school graduation speech similar to UC Merced

06/04/2009 2:30 PM

12/13/2010 9:35 AM

I was just reading The Washington Post when I came upon this recap of first lady Michelle Obama's speech yesterday to graduates at the Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter High School:

I was struck by some similarities between her speech there and her speech last month at UC Merced:

At WMSTPCHS: "We all had doubts. We all heard nagging voices, sometimes we still do, asking us, 'Will we be able to compete in this new arena?' " Mrs. Obama said, according to The Washington Times. "But in the end, we were all more than ready. ... I was more than ready, and Barack Obama certainly is more than ready."

At UC Merced: "You will face tough times, you will certainly have doubts. And you will definitely have your share of setbacks. Count on it," Obama said. "But in those moments, those inevitable moments, I urge you to think about this day."

And, in the spirit of other Obama commencement addresses this season -- from both the president and first lady -- she listed examples of individuals that had overcome great odds to find success in life.

Finally, Mrs. Obama decided to attend the high school ceremony for the same reason she came to Merced: a student letter.

Again according to The Times, now-graduate Jasmine Williams, wrote: "Where we come from, being a young minority means that we have little chance to succeed. The world already has a pre-determined thought that our generation is full of criminals and concubines. Although this may be true about some of the people of our generation, there are still a lot of us that live above the influence and strive to be our best."

According to both papers, all 98 graduates at the charter school will go on to college.


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