status established in order of importance or urgency
Because let’s be honest, if we’re always shining the spotlight on professional athletes or recording artists or Hollywood celebrities, if those are the only achievements we celebrate, then why would we ever think kids would see college as a
imitate, especially for satirical effect
We wanted to
mimic all the drama and excitement traditionally reserved for those few amazing football and basketball players choosing their college and university teams.
the action of accomplishing something
We wanted to focus that same level of energy and attention on kids going to college because of their academic
discouraging through fear
Because as a nation, that’s where the spotlight should also be — on kids who work hard in school and do the right thing when no one is watching, many beating
something providing immaterial assistance
Next, we launched Better Make Room. It’s a social media campaign to give young people the
support and inspiration they need to actually complete higher education.
We are also very proud of all that this administration has done to make higher education more
the actions and activities assigned to a person or group
And we know that school counselors like all of the folks standing with me on this stage have played a critical
role in helping us get there.
involving fiscal matters
In fact, a recent study showed that students who met with a school counselor to talk about
financial aid or college were three times more likely to attend college, and they were nearly seven times more likely to apply for
someone who gives advice about problems
So our school
counselors are truly among the heroes of the Reach Higher story.
exceedingly or unbelievably great
We wanted everyone to know about the difference that these
phenomenal men and women have been making in the lives of our young people every day.
grounds for feeling hopeful about the future
You see the
promise in each of your students. You believe in them even when they can’t believe in themselves, and you work tirelessly to help them be who they were truly meant to be.
And you do it all in the face of some
overwhelming challenges — tight budgets, impossible student- counselor ratios — yeah, amen — endless demands on your time.
causing or fraught with or showing anxiety
You stick with students in their darkest moments, when they’re most
anxious and afraid.
have importance or weight
These men and women show them that those kids
matter; that they have something to offer; that no
matter where they’re from or how much money their parents have, no
matter what they look like or who they love or how they worship or what language they speak at home, they have a place in this country.
a person's social heritage, previous experience, or training
So for all the young people in this room and those who are watching, know that this country belongs to you — to all of you, from every
background and walk of life.
the act of introducing a modifying element or quality
If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition — the
infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas, generation after generation, that has made us the greatest country on earth.
capable of happening or existing
But with a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is
possible — even becoming President.
If you are a person of faith, know that religious
diversity is a great American tradition, too.
a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering
And whether you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh — these religions are teaching our young people about justice, and
compassion, and honesty.
having great beauty and splendor
You see, our
glorious diversity — our diversities of faiths and colors and creeds — that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are.
acquire or deserve by one's efforts or actions
But I also want to be very clear: This right isn’t just handed to you. No, this right has to be
earned every single day.
keep in safety and protect from harm, loss, or destruction
Just like generations who have come before you, you have to do your part to
preserve and protect those freedoms.
having one's attention or mind or energy consumed
You need to prepare yourself to be informed and
engaged as a citizen, to serve and to lead, to stand up for our proud American values and to honor them in your daily lives.
characterized by careful evaluation and judgment
And that means getting the best education possible so you can think critically, so you can express yourself clearly, so you can get a good job and support yourself and your family, so you can be a positive force in your communities.
something that stands in the way and must be surmounted
And when you encounter
obstacles — because I guarantee you, you will, and many of you already have — when you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago, something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives, and that is the power of hope
serving as an essential component
It is our
fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country.
spur on or encourage especially by cheers and shouts
The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe they, too, will be
inspired to rise to their best possible selves.
characterized by great firmness of purpose
So don’t be afraid — you hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be
give qualities or abilities to
Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.
complete and wholehearted fidelity
And I am so grateful to all of you for your passion and your
dedication and all the hard work on behalf of our next generation.