The White House Pastry Chef, Bill Yosses, Is Resigning.


 

By Jueseppi B.

White House pastry chef Bill Yosses poses next to a marzipan and chocolate sculpture of the executive mansion in the State Dining Room as part of the White House Christmas decorations in Washington. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

White House pastry chef Bill Yosses poses next to a marzipan and chocolate sculpture of the executive mansion in the State Dining Room as part of the White House Christmas decorations in Washington. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

 

Obamafoodorama, the publication of record when it comes to the White House and food and food policy, has an in-depth article on Yosses and a picture spread of some of the pastry wonders he’s whipped up these past years.

 

Obamafoodorama editor and founder Eddie Gehman Kohan writes, “Yosses is the first kitchen principle to depart during the Obamas’ tenure.  The White House pastry shop is equal parts high-volume bakery–some 25,000 cookies were baked just for last year’s Christmas holiday season, Yosses said, with dough-making beginning in July–as well as ground zero for fine sugar art.  It is an exhausting if exhilarating place to work.”

 

 

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White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses Will Step Down From His Post In June

 

By EDDIE GEHMAN KOHAN, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE EDITOR

 

The First Lady with Yosses, right, at a Christmas event

The First Lady with Yosses, right, at a Christmas event

 

“Incredibly sad” but “grateful” First Lady praises Yosses’ “delectable” creations and salutes his work as an ambassador for the Let’s Move! campaign…

 

Washington, DC – President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be losing their top sweet-maker this June when Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses steps down from his post.   Mrs. Obama is “incredibly sad” about the departure, she said in a statement saluting the man who has led the White House pastry shop for seven years, and who has been an activist member of her Let’s Move! team.

 

Classically trained in France and the US, Yosses was one of America’s most acclaimed pastry chefs when he was appointed in 2007 by former First Lady Laura Bush.

 

Yosses’ skills are so admired by the pie-obsessed President–who prefers pie as his dessert for every holiday, including his birthdays–that Mr. Obama nicknamed Yosses “the Crustmaster” shortly after moving into the White House.  The presidential Thanksgiving annually ends with a pie fest, with last year’s menu featuring a whopping nine different kinds of pie, from pumpkin to huckleberry to chocolate cream.

 

Yosses planting curled mustard with one of the WH gardeners

Yosses planting curled mustard with one of the WH gardeners

 

But the talents of Yosses, 60, encompass a wide sweep beyond pie, and he has transformed his historic White House role thanks to working with Mrs. Obama on the Let’s Move! campaign.  Yosses has been a major force in the First Lady’s South Lawn Kitchen Garden, leading the weekly crew of volunteer weeders, taking school children on tours through the crop rows, and serving as an “assistant” bee keeper for the presidential hive.

 

Yosses has also taught healthy cooking to children during garden-side events and school visits, and he has lectured regularly on molecular gastronomy–food science–at Harvard University and at events in the US and abroad since Mr. Obama took office.

 

Yosses in the State Dining Room

Yosses in the State Dining Room

 

“Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work, not just as the White House pastry chef producing the most delectable creations for everything from birthday celebrations to state visits, but also as a key partner helping us get the White House Kitchen Garden off the ground and building a healthier future for our next generation,” Mrs. Obama said in a statement.

 

Yosses is leaving the White House in part to pursue his interest in food science and teaching nutrition, he told The New York Times in an interview published on Tuesday, though he revealed no firm plans.  He will be moving to New York, and envisions creating a project that will include “a group and foundation of like-minded creative people” for promoting healthy food as delicious food, Yosses said.

 

“It’s a bittersweet decision,” Yosses said, noting that it is also being driven by personal concerns.

 

A native of Ohio, Yosses is openly gay, and in April of 2011 married his longtime partner Charlie Jandusay Fabella, Jr., a special education teacher, shortly after same-sex marriage became legal in the District.  They have never lived in the same city, Yosses said, citing this as another reason he is leaving the White House.

 

“For the 11 years my husband and I have known each other, we have lived in different cities,” Yosses said.

 

“I wish Bill and his husband Charlie all the best their future endeavors,” Mrs. Obama said.

 

In the White House Kitchen with Mrs. Obama

In the White House Kitchen with Mrs. Obama

 

Yosses is the first kitchen principle to depart during the Obamas’ tenure.  The White House pastry shop is equal parts high-volume bakery–some 25,000 cookies were baked just for last year’s Christmas holiday season, Yosses said, with dough-making beginning in July–as well as ground zero for fine sugar art.  It is an exhausting if exhilarating place to work.

 

Yosses will leave an indelible stamp:  Thanks to Mrs. Obama’s influence, he has transformed the practices of the pastry shop after arriving on the heels of the quarter-century-plus reign of Roland Mesnier, who had a decidedly butter-laden European aesthetic.

 

In keeping with Mrs. Obama’s mandate, Yosses has focused on using seasonal ingredients and items grown in the Kitchen Garden in his pastry, and has worked to offer desserts that are “healthier” without becoming “spa-like,” he has said.  He has swapped honey and agave as sweeteners instead of white sugar, and has experimented with various heirloom whole grain when he can.  But he still uses traditional ingredients.

 

“I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” Yosses told the Times, something he has said before.

 

Indeed, the crust for his White House Apple Pie recipe–just one of the President’s favorites–uses both butter and lard.  Check the site sidebar for all of Yosses’ White House recipes.

 

 

Yosses with the edible bowl of treats for the France State Dinner

Yosses with the edible bowl of treats for the France State Dinner

 

Yosses has overseen the desserts for seven State Dinners for the Obamas, and his elaborate sweets menu for last month’s State Dinner honoring President François Hollande of France is representative of the First Lady’s aesthetic for the most important diplomatic social event any President hosts.  Each State Dinner has spotlighted American food traditions, using ingredients from the Kitchen Garden and the outputs of smaller and family farmers.

 

Yosses’s main dessert, a Hawaiian Chocolate-Malted Ganache cake, combined bittersweet chocolate from Hawaii, tangerines grown in Florida, and was served à la mode with vanilla ice cream from Pennsylvania.  It was accompanied by a spun-sugar bowl of Petits Fours that were presented to each table during the dessert course.

 

These paid homage to American carnival foods, as well as more high-cuisine treats, and includedcotton candy dusted with orange zest, Vermont maple fudge, little chocolates, coconut macaroons, and short bread cookies made with lavender grown in Mrs. Obama’s garden.  There were also handmade spun sugar flowers–a red rose and a purple iris, the national flowers of America and France, nestled in each presentation bowl, which was itself made of edible sugar.

 

Yosses with Asst. Pastry Chef Susie Morrison & the '13 Gingerbread House

Yosses with Asst. Pastry Chef Susie Morrison & the ’13 Gingerbread House

 

Yosses leaves behind another legacy:  His incredible annual holiday Gingerbread White Houses were unlike any of the cookie mansions previously created during the years of the tradition, which began during the Nixon Administration.  The centerpiece of the holiday festivities, Yosses’ five very elaborate, architecturally accurate and stunning constructions for the Obamas were all masterpieces of food art, with the first three covered in white chocolate and the final two made of unique doughs that Yosses created for the purpose.

 

Based on the actual plans from White House architect James Hoban, each took weeks to make, and variously included marzipan replicas of the First Dogs as well as Mrs. Obama’s garden.

 

The 2013 Gingerbread White House was the biggest yet, thanks to sitting atop a life-size replica of President Roosevelt’s White House fireplace, which featured gingerbread bricks and and more than 1,200 Springerle cookies as decorative elements.  The flat, molded anise-flavored cookie is a holiday tradition among Pennsylvania German immigrants.  The fireplace also had sugar cookie replicas of the real tiles commissioned by Roosevelt.

 

Last year, Yosses was honored by the James Beard Foundation as a 2013 inductee to the ‘Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America’ list, which salutes culinary professionals for exemplary careers.  He is the author of two cookbooks.

 

Yosses' book, published in 2010

Yosses’ book, published in 2010

 

One of the books made history during his presidential tenure:  Yosses was the first White House chef to publish a non-White House cookbook while on staff when his critically acclaimed The Perfect Finish:  Special Desserts for Every Occasion was issued in 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company.  The extraordinary volume includes 50 of Yosses’ favorite recipes from his massive repertoire, as well as excellent tips on baking.

 

Yosses is also the co-author of Desserts for Dummies, published before he joined the White House.  His recipes are also included in Mrs. Obama’s 2012 garden memoir American Grown:  The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.

 

Yosses and Morrison in the Kitchen Garden

Yosses and Morrison in the Kitchen Garden

 

No replacement named, but Susie Morrison is in the running…
Yosses’ kitchen clogs will be tough to fill, and the White House has not yet named a replacement, according to an East Wing spokesman.  But a White House source told Obama Foodorama thatAssistant Pastry Chef Susie Morrison is being considered for the post.

 

A 16-year veteran of the pastry shop, Morrison has been Yosses’ second-in-command, and is of course extraordinarily talented.  Yosses has been “grooming” Morrison to take over, said the source.

 

Promoting from within White House ranks is not necessarily a guarantee, but if Morrison is named sugar master, it would make her the first female Executive Pastry Chef in White House history.   

 

Executive Chef Cris Comerford was promoted to her post by Mrs. Bush after joining the White House staff in 1995 as a sous chef.  Comerford is the first woman in history and the first minority to be named Top Toque.

 

Yosses' Steamed Lemon Pudding, topped with spun sugar

Yosses’ Steamed Lemon Pudding, topped with spun sugar

 

Yosses’ Steamed Lemon Pudding, above, was served as the dessert for the State Dinner honoring Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom.  It is just one example of his many desserts and the recipe is here.  Check the site sidebar for all Yosses’ White House recipes.

 

Photos by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama except for kitchen photo; that was published in “American Grown.”

 

Thank you Ms. Eddie Gehman Kohan & Obamafoodorama

 

 

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2012 White House Easter Egg Roll: Play with Your Food with Bill Yosses and Susan Morrison

 

Published on Apr 9, 2012

White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses and Assistant Pastry Chef Susan Morrison show kids how to prepare an easy snack that’s also healthy and delicious at the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll.

 

 

 

 

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Food Physics: Bill Yosses at TEDxManhattan

 

Published on Mar 9, 2013

Bill Yosses spent his early career in France at pastry meccas such as Fauchon, La Maison du Chocolat, and LeNôtre. In New York, he continued at Bouley Restaurant. In 2005 he became pastry chef at The Dressing Room Restaurant, working with chef Michel Nischan and with the actor/philanthropist, Paul Newman. Bill helped develop “The Dinner Party Project” in New York City as a part of Spoons Across America’s programming in which chefs teach kids about healthy food choices and how to prepare a dinner party for their parents.

 

As Pastry Chef of the White House he has been closely involved with Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move initiative with the goal of reducing childhood health problems related to diet. Working in the White House garden has been his most important inspiration to date.
In a related project, he recently helped develop a program in the Physics Department of Harvard University in conjunction with Chop Chop Magazine called Camp Chop Chop in which healthy foods and innovative exercise are used to introduce scientific concepts to 4th and 5th graders.

 

Bill has published two books, Desserts for Dummies 1997, and The Perfect Finish, Special Desserts for Every Occasion, 2010.

 

 

 

POTUS & VPOTUS dash through 1600 Penn in "workout gear"....I LOVE these guys.

POTUS & VPOTUS dash through 1600 Penn in “workout gear”….I LOVE these guys.

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Barack After Dark™: Dr. Jill. Joey B. Michelle Visits NYC. The Ukraine. The West Wing Week.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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The White House Blog

 

Responding to the Situation in Ukraine

 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

February 20, 2014
07:05 PM EST

 

Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel

 

Today, President Obama spoke by phone with Chancellor Merkelof Germany to consult on the situation in Ukraine. The two leaders agreed it is critical that the United States, Germany and the European Union continue to stay in close touch in the days ahead on steps we can take to support an end to the violence and a political solution that is in the best interests of the Ukrainian people.

 

See the readout from today’s call here and the statement released by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney here.

 

Before a bilateral meeting yesterday with President Peña Nieto of Mexico, President Obama said that “the United States condemns in strongest terms the violence that’s taking place” in Ukraine. “And we have been deeply engaged with our European partners as well as both the Ukrainian government and the opposition to try to assure that that violence ends,” he said.

 

 

 

But we hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible for making sure that it is dealing with peaceful protesters in an appropriate way; that the Ukrainian people are able to assemble and speak freely about their interests without fear of repression.

 

And I want to be very clear that as we work through these next several days in Ukraine that we are going to be watching very carefully and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters.  We’ve said that we also expect peaceful protesters to remain peaceful.  And we’ll be monitoring very carefully the situation, recognizing, along with our European partners and the international community, there will be consequences if people step over the line.  And that includes making sure that the Ukrainian military does not step into what should be a set of issues that can be resolved by civilians.

 

So the United States will continue to engage with all sides in the dispute in Ukraine, and ultimately our interest is to make sure that the Ukrainian people can express their own desires.  And we believe that a large majority of Ukrainians are interested in an integration with Europe, and the commerce and cultural exchanges that are possible for them to expand opportunity and prosperity.

 

But regardless of how the Ukrainian people determine their own future, it is important that it is the people themselves that make those decisions.  And that’s what the United States will continue to strive to achieve.

 

And I do think there is still the possibility of a peaceful transition within Ukraine, but it’s going to require the government, in particular, to actively seek that peaceful transition, and it requires the opposition and those on the streets to recognize that violence is not going to be the path by which this issue will be resolved.

 

Check back at whitehouse.gov/ukraine for updates and more information as it is released.

 


 

More information on the Obama administration’s response to the situation in Ukraine:

 

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on Ukraine

We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people.  We urge President Yanukovych to immediately withdraw his security forces from downtown Kyiv and to respect the right of peaceful protest, and we urge protesters to express themselves peacefully.  We urge the Ukrainian military not to get involved in a conflict that can and should be resolved by political means.   The use of force will not resolve the crisis — clear steps must be taken to stop the violence and initiate meaningful dialogue that reduces tension and addresses the grievances of the Ukrainian people.  The United States will work with our European allies to hold those responsible for violence accountable and to help the Ukrainian people get a unified and independent Ukraine back on the path to a better future.

 

Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

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Dr. Biden Speaks at Summit Focused on Post-9/11 Veterans at The Bush Institute

 

Melanie Kaye
Melanie Kaye
February 20, 2014
03:07 PM EST

 

Dr. Biden delivers remarks at the George W. Bush Presidential CenterDr. Jill Biden delivers remarks at a Summit focused on supporting post-9/11 veterans at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, Feb. 19, 2014. (Photo by Grant Miller)

 

Yesterday, Dr. Jill Biden joined President Bush at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas for a Summit focused on how Americans can support post-9/11 veterans as they transition back to civilian life. Dr. Biden noted that while the troops serving our nation represent only one percent of the population, the other 99 percent of Americans need to find ways to honor and support them.

 

In her remarks, Dr. Biden highlighted the many ways Americans have already stepped up since she and First Lady Michelle Obama started Joining Forces nearly three years ago:

 

  • Businesses have made it a priority to hire veterans and military spouses, not only because it is their patriotic duty, but because they know our service men and women are highly-skilled, hardworking employees;
  • Educators, including teaching colleges, are doing more to prepare teachers for the unique needs of military-connected children in the classroom, and higher education institutions are taking steps to help veterans succeed on campus; and
  • Doctors, nurses, and social workers have pledged support to enhance the preparation of our nation’s medical providers to care for returning service men and women, and their families.

 

But she also said that even small gestures of kindness can make all the difference for a military family, whether it is bringing over a warm meal or a neighbor shoveling the driveway.

 

Raising awareness about the military experience and transition back to civilian life is critical.

 

“…as more and more Americans have a real understanding of what it means to serve, the more they are ready to step up and do their part,” Dr. Biden said.

 

Learn more about how you can take action to support our servicemen and women, veterans and military families.

 

View Dr. Biden’s remarks here.

 

Empowering Our Nation’s Warriors: Remarks by Dr. Jill Biden

 

Published on Feb 19, 2014

Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States and Co-Founder, Joining Forces, gives remarks at the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative summit, Empowering Our Nation’s Warriors, on Feb. 19, 2014.

 

 

 

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First Lady Michelle Obama to Celebrate the Fourth Anniversary oF Let’s Move!

Published on Feb 20, 2014

The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, wants you to show her how you move. Use the hashtag #LetsMove to join in! http://www.letsmove.gov

 

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, First Lady Michelle Obama will kick off a celebration around the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move!, her initiative to ensure that all our children grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

 

Today, we are moving toward a healthier future and this movement is becoming the new norm all across the country.  From child care centers through high school, from sun up to sun down the country is moving toward a healthier future.

 

On this anniversary, Mrs. Obama will be highlighting examples of people, communities, and organizations that are participating in this movement.

 

To demonstrate the national scope of this movement, the First Lady is encouraging people of all ages, to show her how they move – through their everyday fitness routine, making better food choices, or by moving their community toward that new norm – on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc. using #LetsMove.  Click here to watch the First Lady explain this online challenge.

 

Follow @FLOTUS and @LetsMove on twitter and @MichelleObama on Instagram for live updates.

 

Mrs. Obama launched Let’s Move! on February 9, 2010 to unite the country around our kids’ health and create real support for families to live healthier lives.  Since then, parents, business leaders, educators, elected officials, military leaders, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders, and kids themselves have stepped up to improve the health of our nation’s children.

 

Thanks in part to these efforts, our nation is moving towards a new, healthier norm.  More Americans now have access to healthy, affordable food closer to home, school health environments are changing, healthier foods are being marketed to kids, and making healthy choices is becoming easier for families.  A CDC report released last year showed that obesity among low-income pre-schoolers declined in 19 states over the past couple of years.

 

For more information on how we’ve moved towards a healthier norm over the past four years, visit: http://go.wh.gov/RZ3TsD

 

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Thursday, February 20th, 2014

 

New York, NY * 10:45 AM ET – Inspired by the Drink Up initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama will visit the Taking Back the Streets exhibit at the New Museum in New York City.  The exhibit, developed by WAT-AAH, is a celebration of street art in honor of Drink Up, the Partnership for Healthier America’s initiative that encourages all Americans to drink more water.  TheTaking Back the Streets exhibit will use the visual arts to remind kids and parents that choosing to drink water is one of the best and easiest decisions we can make each and every day.

 

This event is pooled press.

 

New York, NY – Later in the afternoon, the First Lady will tape an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”  During her interview, Mrs. Obama will highlight the fourth anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative.  Her appearance will air that evening.

 

 

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Washington, DC * 11:00 AM ET – First Lady Michelle Obama will join United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for an announcement on school wellness and to highlight the incredible progress being made in school health environments across the country.

 

This event in the East Room is open press. Members of the media who wish to cover the event must RSVP with “SCHOOL WELLNESS” in the subject line to firstladypress@who.eop.gov by 12 PM, Monday, February 24th. who do not have a White House Hard Pass must also include: Full Legal Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, US Citizenship Status, Country of Origin, and Current City/State.

 

Miami, FL * 4:30 PM ET– Following the Let’s Move! School Wellness Event, the First Lady will travel to Miami, Florida.  While in Miami, she will visit a local parks and recreation center to make a major announcement about healthy out-of-school time.

 

This event is open press. Members of the media who wish to cover the event must RSVP with “OUT OF SCHOOL TIME” in the subject line to firstladypress@who.eop.gov by 12 PM, Monday, February 24th. Those who do not have a White House Hard Pass must also include: Full Legal Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, US Citizenship Status, Country of Origin, and Current City/State.

 

Following her event in Miami, the First Lady will join Mario Lopez for an interview for Extra.  This interview will air the following day.  Later that afternoon, the First Lady will join Satcha Pretto for an interview with¡Despierta América!.  This interview will air the following day.

 

 

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Washington, DC * 11:00 AM ET—The First Lady will make an announcement regarding proposals to help parents and other consumers make healthier choices.

 

This event is in the East Room and is open press. Members of the media who wish to cover the event must RSVP with “HEALTHIER CHOICES” in the subject line to firstladypress@who.eop.gov by 12 PM, Wednesday, February 26th.  Those who do not have a White House Hard Pass must also include: Full Legal Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, US Citizenship Status, Country of Origin, and Current City/State.

 

Following the event, the First Lady will join Rachael Ray for an interview.  This interview will air the following week on The Rachael Ray Show.

 

Bowie, MD * 2:30 PM — Later that afternoon, the First Lady will travel to Bowie, Maryland for an announcement with a local child care facility. Since 2011, nearly 12,000 child care providers have committed to providing healthy environments and encouraging healthy habits among our nation’s preschoolers through Let’s Move! Child Care.  These child care providers are increasing physical activity, limiting screen time, serving healthier food and beverages, and supporting breastfeeding mothers.  More than 1 million children are being reached by early childhood education networks that have committed to Let’s Move! Child Care.

 

This event is pooled press.  Following her event at a local child care facility, the First Lady will join Jenna Bush Hager for an interview with the Today Show.  This interview will air the following day.

 

 

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First lady Michelle Obama highlights drink-more-water show in NYC

 

NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is helping a New York City museum spread some advice on health: Drink up — water, that is.

 

The first lady and fitness advocate was at the New Museum on Thursday to view a street-art-inspired exhibit that aims to make the health-conscious message eye-catching.

 

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She signed a massive paint-by-numbers artwork created for the show and chatted with eighth-graders who helped paint it and created a poster of their own.

 

She told them their involvement in the campaign would make “a huge, huge impact on the health of our nation.”

 

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The exhibit is a collaboration with the WAT-AAH! (WAH’-tah) bottled-water brand.

 

Mrs. Obama is celebrating the fourth anniversary of “Let’s Move,” her anti-childhood obesity initiative.

 

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Vice President Biden Speaks at America’s Central Port on the Fifth Anniversary of the Recovery Act

 

Marc Aidinoff
February 20, 2014
01:15 PM EST

 

Vice President Joe Biden marks the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment ActVice President Joe Biden marks the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by delivering remarks on the need for continued investment in infrastructure, at America’s Central Port Intermodal Hub, in Granite City, Illinois, Feb. 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

 

“The Recovery Act is the largest public works project since President Eisenhower laid out our nation’s interstate highway system—and all of you here at America’s Central Port are continuing this American story of boldness and doing big things that are so deeply ingrained in our history,” Vice President Biden said at an event marking the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which saved our country from an economic depression and helped rebuild the middle class.

 

Speaking on the Mississippi River at America’s Central Port in Granite City, Illinois on Wednesday. February 19, the Vice President outlined how the Recovery Act’s TIGER grants at the port and across the country have modernized the way we do business, created good-paying middle-class jobs, and strengthened our global economic competitiveness.

 

Joined by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, current Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, along with local and port officials, the Vice President described how the grants significantly improve the way we finance and strengthen the capacity of our nation’s ports, railroads, and highways. At America’s third largest inland port, the TIGER program has already helped hire workers who installed new levee relief wells, laid down a new rail track, and started work on a new harbor, all of which help increase the Port’s efficiency and reduce shipping costs.

 

And these grants have leveraged significant state and private sector investments—since the federal investment more than a dozen businesses have moved to the port and invested more than $300 million in the area. The Vice President noted that from 2009-2013, the more than $3 billion invested in federal TIGER grants across the country leveraged an additional $13.6 billion from state and local governments and took private investment off the sidelines.

 

Overall, the Recovery Act and other Administration investments have improved more than 350,000 miles of roads, 6,000 miles of rail, and 20,000 bridges since 2009—generating millions of dollars of economic activity that support and create middle-class jobs across the country.

 

From the first National Road and the Erie Canal to the Intercontinental Railroad and the interstate highways, the Vice President reminded Americans that the best way to predict our future is to create it. That it is America’s enduring commitment to ingenuity and capability– a continued and relentless effort to expand and modernize—that has made us the greatest economic power in the world.

 

The Vice President closed by saying, Build—build the most modern infrastructure in the world, and the world will come to us,”reminding us that Recovery Act and its subsequent infrastructure investments have generated the kind of economic growth and dynamism that built our country and built our middle class—and will continue to do so.

 

 

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West Wing Week 02/21/14 or “Don’t Make Small Plans, Make Big Plans”

 

Published on Feb 20, 2014

This week, the President traveled to the North American Leaders Summit in Toluca, Mexico, to California to address the current drought and to meet with the King of Jordan, and to Upper Marlboro, Maryland to announce an increase in fuel efficiency standards for heavy trucks.

 

 

 

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Strengthening the Patent System

 

Published on Feb 20, 2014

The White House highlights the Administration’s commitment to strengthening the patent system to ensure it encourages innovation and invention, inspires and rewards creativity, drives investment, and spurs job creation. February 20, 2014.

 

 

 

Raw Video: President Obama Meets With Japanese American WWII Veterans

 

Published on Feb 20, 2014

On Tuesday, February 18th, the President invited a group of seven Japanese American World War II veterans to the Oval Office, to honor their service during a period when the U.S. Government actively discriminated against Japanese Americans. The group served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which is one of the most decorated units in U.S. military history, and in the Military Intelligence Service, and were in town as part of a “homecoming” celebration for recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal.

 

 

 

2/20/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on Feb 20, 2014

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

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Happy Four Year Anniversary Let’s Move! Let the Celebrations Begin!


 

By Jueseppi B.

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THE LET’S MOVE! ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION IS HERE

 

Four years ago, First Lady Michelle Obama launched a national movement, Let’s Move!, to create a healthier future for kids and families. Four years later, Let’s Move! has moved a nation in a healthier direction, and this nation is on the move. This healthier movement is becoming the new norm, and it is happening all over the country. From child care centers through high school and after school, from sun up to sun down, the country is moving faster every day towards a healthier future.

 

It’s been an exciting year for Let’s Move! From launching Let’s Move!Active Schools in order to bring physical activity back to schools to making improvements in marketing healthier products to kids; we’re continuing to move this nation towards a healthier future.

 

Check out more Let’s Move! milestones and collaborations from the last year. And be sure to stay tuned as we celebrate the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move! throughout the next week. We encourage you to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to stay updated on all of our anniversary activities and to participate in some of our digital Let’s Move! anniversary celebrations.

 

CHECK OUT NEW FIRST LADY FAVORITE RECIPES

 

One year ago, First Lady Michelle Obama announced an exciting partnership between some of the top recipe creators, Pinterest, MyPlate, and the Partnership for a Healthier America to make it easier to find healthy recipes online. Together, they created a one-stop, easy-to-access tool for parents looking to make healthier choices in the kitchen for their families — a MyPlate board on Pinterest — which includes nutritious and delicious recipes that are inspired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate icon.

 

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In celebration of the anniversary of this partnership and the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move!we’re bringing you more of the First Lady’s favorite recipes! Be sure to check out the First Lady’s Favorite board to find a variety of new recipes from Spicy Chicken Burgers to Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie and more!

 

 

HEALTHY TIP OF THE WEEK

 

Keep fresh fruits and vegetables where kids can see and reach them so it’s easy to grab a healthy bite on the go.

 

 

BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

 

Hiking, Snowshoeing, and More! Enjoy America’s Great Outdoors this Winter
In many parts of the country, a winter chill is upon us. Despite the cool temperatures, there are a multitude of activities offered throughout the National Park Service to get outside and get active! We know that regular exercise out in nature improves kids’ physical and mental health. Let’s Move! Outside was created to help kids and their families take advantage of America’s great outdoors – which abound in every city, town and community.

 

Beaumont, TX becomes the first Let’s Move! City, Town or County to Earn Gold Medals in Every LMCTC Goal!
The City of Beaumont, Texas recently became the first Let’s Move!city, town or county to earn gold medals in all five goals of Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). Beaumont ranks first among over 400 communities participating in LMCTC and is an example of how city government, the school district, hospitals, non-profits and the private sector can work together to help our most valuable asset – our children.

 

For the full recap of recent activities and to get involved, visit the Let’s Move! blog, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

 

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First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Obama Visits The “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” Thursday,

Mrs. Obama hits New York for Fallon and a high-dollar Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of Obama “bundler” Maneesh Goyal. The funder is billed as a roundtable with the tab ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 per person. Mrs. Obama did a California swing for the DNC last month and more DNC events are in her pipeline.

A year ago, First Lady Michelle Obama and Jimmy Fallon created a YouTube hit with their dance skit, “Evolution of Mom Dancing.” On Thursday, Mrs. Obama teams up again with Fallon, guesting during his inaugural week of hosting the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

 

 

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First lady Michelle Obama highlights drink-more-water show in NYC

 

by Associated Press

 

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NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is helping a New York City museum spread some advice on health: Drink up — water, that is.

 

The first lady and fitness advocate was at the New Museum on Thursday to view a street-art-inspired exhibit that aims to make the health-conscious message eye-catching.

 

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She signed a massive paint-by-numbers artwork created for the show and chatted with eighth-graders who helped paint it and created a poster of their own.

 

She told them their involvement in the campaign would make “a huge, huge impact on the health of our nation.”

 

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The exhibit is a collaboration with the WAT-AAH! (WAH’-tah) bottled-water brand.

 

Mrs. Obama is celebrating the fourth anniversary of “Let’s Move,” her anti-childhood obesity initiative.

 

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The White House Year in Review: Our Favorite FLOTUS Moments Of 2013


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Erin Lindsay
Erin Lindsay

December 28, 2013
01:11 PM EST

 

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back at some of our favorite digital moments with First Lady Michelle Obama this year. It’s been a big year (both online and off) for the First Lady, she broke new ground by starting the first official First Lady twitter account (@FLOTUS), Instagram (@MichelleObama) and recording her first Vine. She celebrated the 3rd Anniversary ofLet’s Move! by “mom dancing” with Jimmy Fallon, hanging out with Kelly Ripa and by answering your questions during her first twitter chat. She also continued to welcome thousands of Americans to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll, Kids’ State Dinner and tours.

 

Check out all these moments and more (including the arrival of a second “first pup”) below or on Storify and be sure to follow the First Lady on Twitter (@FLOTUS) and Instagram (@MichelleObama) for exciting updates and news in the New Year!

 

In case you missed it: First Lady Michelle Obama & @JimmyFallon in “Evolution of Mom Dancing.”

Evolution Of Mom Dancing (w/ Jimmy Fallon & Michelle Obama)

 

Published on Feb 22, 2013

In honor of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign, and to encourage parents everywhere to get up and get moving with their kids, Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama present the “Evolution of Mom Dancing.”

 

 

 

First Lady Michelle Obama Participates in a Let’s Move! Fireside Hangout on Google+

 

First Lady Michelle Obama Participates in a Let’s Move! Fireside Hangout on Google+

Uploaded on Mar 4, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama talks about healthy families online through her first Google+ Hangout. Continuing a series of “Fireside Hangouts” from the White House, Mrs. Obama participates in a completely virtual conversation with parents and kids from around the country, moderated by Kelly Ripa, Emmy Award-winning co-host of daytime talk show LIVE with Kelly and Michael.

 

 

 

On Board with The First Lady: Let’s Move! 3rd Anniversary Tour

Published on Mar 8, 2013

On Board with the First Lady! First Lady Michelle Obama travels to Mississippi, Chicago and Missouri on the Let’s Move! 3rd anniversary tour. She meet with elementary school kids and teachers, announced the Let’s Move Healthy Schools initiative, filmed a lunch-lady cook off with Rachael Ray and visited a Walmat neighborhood market to see changes that have been made to make healthy foods more accessible and affordable to families.

 

 

 

Right now, the First Lady is answering your questions about @LetsMove! on Twitter. Join with :

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So excited to host thousands of families at the @WhiteHouse today for the 2013 . What a view!

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Surprise! Look who stopped by the Mother’s Day Tea to say thanks to our military spouses:

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President Obama Speaks at the 2013 Kids’ State Dinner

 

Published on Jul 9, 2013

President Obama makes a surprise appearance at the 2013 Kids’ State Dinner.

 

 

 

My first instagram! So inspired and so impressed by these extraordinary young women.

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Join the First Lady and help @NatGeo reach a Guinness World Record for the largest online #animal photo album. greatnatureproject.org #GreatNature

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So excited to introduce the newest member of the Obama family—our puppy, Sunny!

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Don’t miss your chance to attend an @Instagram Meetup in the @WhiteHouse Garden. Apply at wh.gov/social.

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Brought to you by the letters F-L-O-T-U-S

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Read The Entire Favorite FLOTUS Moments Of 2013List

 

First Lady Michelle Obama reacts while talking on the phone to children across the country as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program. Mrs. Obama answered the phone calls from Kailua, Hawaii, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama reacts while talking on the phone to children across the country as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program. Mrs. Obama answered the phone calls from Kailua, Hawaii, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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The First Lady Of The United States Of America On The Power Of Education


 

By Jueseppi B.

Michelle Obama speaks to students at Bell Multicultural High School Tuesday.

Michelle Obama speaks to students at Bell Multicultural High School Tuesday.

 

Michelle Obama kicks off new education initiative at Washington, D.C. high school

 

The first lady told students at Bell Multicultural High School that she wanted the U.S. to have the highest percentage of college graduates by 2020.

 

Edging into a broader policy role, Michelle Obama is joining President Barack Obama’s efforts to get the United States on track to have the highest percentage of college graduates by 2020.

 

Mrs. Obama spoke to students Tuesday at Bell Multicultural High School just a few miles from the White House. Officials say the event is part of what will be a broader focus for the first lady on getting students — especially those in underserved communities — on track to attend college.

 

The first lady told students that meeting the 2020 goal is important, but their personal success is just as significant.

 

“No matter what the president does, no matter what your teachers and principals do, or whatever is going on in your home or neighborhood, the person with the biggest impact on your education is you,” Mrs. Obama said. “It’s going to take young people like all of you across the country stepping up and taking control of your education.”

 

Thank you  THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

 

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Tina Tchen
Tina Tchen

November 12, 2013
05:19 PM EST

 

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited sophomores at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, DC. The First Lady’s remarks continued to expand her focus on issues of youth empowerment and education, in particular working to achieve the President’s “North Star” Goal.

 

“You see, when Barack came into office,” she said, “one of the very first things he did was to set what he calls a North Star goal for America – that by the year 2020, the year that you all will be graduating from college, our country will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”

 

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks on The Power of Education

November 12, 2013 | 17:33 |Public Domain

 

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to sophomore class at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, D.C. and addresses the importance of higher education and her hopes for them as college graduates in 2020.

 

 

 

In her remarks, the First Lady spoke directly to young people about committing to their education so that they can create a better future for themselves, their communities, and their country. She also shared some of her personal academic experiences to illustrate her belief that circumstances do not define your future, but rather your attitude.

 

“My parents didn’t have much money, and they never went to college themselves, but they had an unwavering belief in the power of education, and they always pushed me and my brother to do whatever it took to succeed in school.”

 

“I knew that the first thing I needed to do was to have the strongest academic record possible… so I worked hard to get the best grades that I possibly could in all my classes.  I got involved in leadership opportunities in school, where I developed close relationships with teachers and administrators. I knew I needed to present very solid and thoughtful college applications… so I stayed up late at night working on my college essays and personal statements.  I knew my parents would not be able to pay for all of my tuition… so I made sure I applied for financial aid on time.  And when I encountered doubters…when people told me that I wasn’t going to cut it… I didn’t let that stop me.”

 

After the First Lady’s remarks, she joined Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan for a conversation with sophomores, who represent the college class of 2020. BET moderators Jeff Johnson and Keshia Chante facilitated the discussion and encouraged students to discuss their goals and aspirations, challenges and concerns as they contemplate and prepare for higher education. The conversation was a listening session in which the First Lady and Secretary Duncan could hear first-hand the valuable perspective of these sophomores as they contemplate and prepare for higher education.

 

The First Lady on the Power of Education First Lady Michelle Obama greets students after participating in a conversation with the 10th-grade class at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, D.C., Nov. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

 

The First Lady and Secretary Duncan also shared a few resources to help students navigate the sometimes tricky college application process. They suggested exploring studentaid.gov  to learn more about what it takes academically and financially to go to college. Other great resources include the College Scorecardand the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet , tools that provide students and families with easy-to-understand information about colleges and institutions of higher education.  These tools help students choose schools that are well-suited to meet their needs, priced affordably, and consistent with their educational and career goals.

 

 

Remarks by the First Lady at Education Event with DC High School Sophomores

 

 

Remarks by the First Lady at Education Event with DC High School Sophomores

 

Bell Multicultural High School,
Columbia Heights Education Campus
Washington, D.C.

 

11:24 A.M. EST

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, good morning.  How are you all doing?  You good?

 

STUDENTS:  Yes.

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Let me tell you, I’m thrilled to be back here at the Columbia Heights Education Campus.  How many of you guys were here when the President and I were here the last time?  (Applause.)  Yes, show — applause are good.  That will help me out.  That’s good.

 

 

So you guys have made some good progress, and now we’re back because we are so proud of what you all have been doing here, and we thought that this was the best place to begin this conversation.

 

So let me start by thanking Menbere for that very kind introduction.  She is a proud representative of what this school can do, and her story is one that we want you all to emulate.

 

I also want to recognize Mayor Gray, as well as Kaya Henderson, the Chancellor of the D.C. Public Schools.  And of course, I want to recognize your principal, Principal Tukeva, and all of the faculty and staff here at Bell Multicultural High School.  Thank you for hosting us.

 

 

Of course, I want to thank Secretary Duncan for joining me today, as well as Jeff and Keshia and everyone from 106 & Park for helping to facilitate today’s discussion.  Let’s give them all a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

 

But most of all, I want to recognize all of the young people who are here with us, the sophomores here at CHEC.  And I wanted to come here today because you guys and students like you across America are at the heart of one of my husband’s most important goals as President.

 

See, when Barack came into office, one of the very first things he did was to set what he calls a North Star goal for the entire country -– that by the year 2020, the year that all of you will be graduating from college, that this country will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

 

Now, Barack set this goal because as a — a generation ago, we were number one in college graduates.  But over the past couple of decades, this country has slipped all the way to 12th.  We’ve slipped.  And that’s unacceptable, and we’ve all got a lot of work to do to turn that around and get back on top.
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But Barack didn’t just set that goal because it’s good for our country.  He did it because he knows how important higher education is to all of you as individuals.  Because when the year 2020 rolls around, nearly two-thirds of all jobs in this country are going to require some form of training beyond high school.  That means whether it’s a vocational program, community college, a four-year university, you all are going to need some form of higher education in order to build the kind of lives that you want for yourselves, good careers, to be able to provide for your family.

 

And that’s why the President and Secretary Duncan have been doing everything they can to make sure that kids like you get the best education possible and that you have everything you need to continue your education after high school.  They’ve been fighting to strengthen your schools and to support your teachers.  They’ve been working hard to make college more affordable for all young people in this country no matter where you come from or how much money your parents have.  They’ve been working with parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders all across this country just to help you succeed.

 

But here’s the thing — and I want you to listen to this — at the end of the day, no matter what the President does, no matter what your teachers and principals do or whatever is going on in your home or in your neighborhood, the person with the biggest impact on your education is you.  It’s that simple.  It is you, the student.  And more than anything else, meeting that 2020 goal is going to take young people like all of you across this country stepping up and taking control of your education.

 

And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.  We’re going to talk about the power that each of you has to commit to your education.  We’re going to talk about the power that you have to fulfill your potential and unlock opportunities that you can’t even begin to imagine for yourselves right now.  And when I talk about students needing to take responsibility for their education, I want you all to know that I’m speaking from my own personal life experience.

 

Like Menbere, growing up, I considered myself pretty lucky.  Even though my parents didn’t have a lot of money, they never went to college themselves, they had an unwavering belief in the power of education.  So they always pushed me and my brother to do whatever it took to succeed in school.  So when it came time for me to go to high school, they encouraged me to enroll in one of the best schools in Chicago.  It was a school a lot like this one.

 

And listening to Menbere’s story, it was so similar, because my school was way across the other side of the city from where I lived.  So at 6:00 a.m. every morning, I had to get on a city bus and ride for an hour, sometimes more, just to get to school.  And I was willing to do that because I was willing to do whatever it took for me to go to college.

 

I set my sights high.  I decided I was going to Princeton.  But I quickly realized that for me, a kid like me, getting into Princeton wasn’t just going to happen on its own.  See I went to a great school, but at my school we had so many kids, so few guidance counselors, they were dealing with hundreds of students so they didn’t always have much time to help me personally get my applications together.  Plus, I knew I couldn’t afford to go on a bunch of college visits.  I couldn’t hire a personal tutor.  I couldn’t enroll in SAT prep classes.  We didn’t have the money.
 

 
And then — get this –- some of my teachers straight up told me that I was setting my sights too high.  They told me I was never going to get into a school like Princeton.  I still hear that doubt ringing in my head.  So it was clear to me that nobody was going to take my hand and lead me to where I needed to go.

 

Instead, it was going to be up to me to reach my goal.  I would have to chart my own course.  And I knew that the first thing I needed to do was have the strongest academic record possible.

 

So I worked hard to get the best grades I could in all of my classes.  I got involved in leadership opportunities in school where I developed close relationships with some of my teachers and administrators.  I knew I needed to present very solid and thoughtful college applications, so I stayed up late, got up early in the morning to work on my essays and personal statements.  I knew my parents would not be able to pay for all of my tuition, so I made sure that I applied for financial aid on time.  That FAFSA form was my best friend.  I knew the deadlines, everything.

 

Most importantly, when I encountered doubters, when people told me I wasn’t going to cut it, I didn’t let that stop me — in fact, I did the opposite.  I used that negativity to fuel me, to keep me going.  And at the end, I got into Princeton, and that was one of the proudest days of my life.

 

But getting into Princeton was only the beginning.  Graduating from Princeton was my ultimate goal.  So I had to start all over again, developing and executing a plan that would lead me to my goal.  And of course, I struggled a little bit.  I had to work hard, again, to find a base of friends and build a community of support for myself in this Ivy League University.

 

I remember as a freshman I mistakenly rolled into a class that was meant for juniors and seniors.  And there were times when I felt like I could barely keep my head above water.  But through it all, I kept that college diploma as my North Star.  And four years later, I reached that goal, and then I went on to build a life I never could have imagined for myself.

 

I went to law school, became a lawyer.  I’ve been a vice president for a hospital.  I’ve been the head of a nonprofit organization.  And I am here today because I want you to know that my story can be your story.  The details might be a little different, but let me tell you, so many of the challenges and the triumphs will be just the same.

 

You might be dreaming of becoming a doctor or a teacher; maybe a mechanic or a software designer.  Or you might not know what you want to do right now –- and that’s fine.  But no matter what path you choose, no matter what dreams you have, you have got to do whatever it takes to continue your education after high school –- again, whether that’s going to community college, getting a technical certificate, or completing a training opportunity, or going off to a four-year college.

 

And once you’ve completed your education, you will have the foundation you need to build a successful life.  That’s how me, that’s how Menbere, that’s how so many other students have overcome adversities  to reach our goals.

 

There’s another young man, Roger Sanchez.  He is another example of a CHEC alum who is working toward his North Star goal.

 

In fifth grade, Roger came to the United States from the Dominican Republic to live with his mother.  When Roger arrived in America, he could barely speak a word of English.  He often couldn’t understand anything his teachers were saying, so he decided to put a piece of paper in his pocket so he could jot down all the new words he heard, and then he’d ask his friends and teachers to translate for him.

 

He went to the library and poured through books and videos and cassettes to help teach himself English.  And after all those hours of studying and practicing, Roger arrived here at Bell ready to thrive.  And every day, he put the same effort into his classes that he put into learning English.  He joined the baseball, the football teams.  He helped found your Global Kids Club so that students could discuss world issues.  And last spring, he graduated with nearly a 4.0 GPA.

 

And today, Roger is a freshman at American University.  He’s majoring in international relations, and he also volunteers as a mentor.  He’s paying it forward.  He’s helping high school students just like all of you with their college applications and essays.  And I had a chance to meet Roger, who’s here today, and I’d like to — Roger, can you stand up if you’re in the audience so we can give you a round of applause?  We’re so proud of you.  There Roger is.  (Applause.)  Congratulations.

 

So every day, students like Menbere and Roger and all of you are proving that it is not your circumstance that define your future — it’s your attitude.  It’s your commitment.  You decide how high you set your goals.  You decide how hard you’re going to work for those goals.  You decide how you’re going to respond when something doesn’t go your way.

 

And here’s the thing:  Studies show that those kinds of skills –- skills like grit, determination, skills like optimism and resilience –- those skills can be just as important as your test scores or your grade scores — or your grades.  And so many of you already have those skills because of everything you’ve already overcome in your lives.

 

Maybe you’ve had problems at home and you’ve had to step up, take on extra responsibilities for your family.  Maybe you come from a tough neighborhood, and you’ve been surrounded by things like violence and drugs.  Maybe one of your parents has lost a job and you’ve had to struggle just to make it here today.

 

One of the most important things you all must understand about yourselves is that those experiences are not weaknesses.  They’re not something to be ashamed of.  Experiences like those can make you stronger and more determined.  They can teach you all kinds of skills that you could never learn in a classroom –- the skills that will lead you to success anywhere in life.  But first, you’ve got to apply those skills toward getting an education.

 

So what does that mean?  That means, first and foremost, believing in yourselves no matter what obstacles you face.  It means going to class every single day — that’s what I did — not just showing up, but actually paying attention, taking some notes, asking questions.

 

It means doing your homework every single night — I did — studying hard for every test, even if it’s not your favorite subject.  It means reaching out to your teachers and counselors and coaches and asking for help whenever you need it.  And when you stumble and fall –- and I guarantee you, you will, because we all do –- it means picking yourself up and trying again and again and again.

 

All of that is on you.  You’ve got to own that part of it.  You’ve got to step up as individuals.  Because here’s the key:  If you step up, if you choose to own your future and commit to your education, and if you don’t let anything stand in your way until you complete it, then you will not only lead our country to that North Star goal, but you will lead yourselves to whatever future you dream of.

 

That is my message for all of you today.  And over these next few years, I’m going to continue sharing that message all across the country and all across the world to students just like you.  We, with the help of Arne and the President and everyone in this administration, we’re going to do everything we can to help connect you to all the resources that are available to help you on your journey -– many resources that weren’t around when I was your age.

 

For example, we’re going to tell students about our College Navigator and College Scorecard that can help you find affordable programs that fit your interests, your goals.  We also want to make sure that you know about websites like StudentAid.gov, which helps you apply for grants and loans, and also provides you with a year-by-year checklist so you know what you need to be doing to get you to college, or whatever program you need to get to.

 

But I also believe that this conversation — it’s got to be a two-way conversation.  I know that you all have important things to say, you have important questions that you deserve answers to, and that that’s why I want to make sure that I continue to hear your stories as well as talking to you.  I want to hear about your dreams.  I want to hear about the things you’re worried about.  I want folks like me and my husband and your teachers and parents, I want you to tell us what we can do to help you get to college and fulfill your dreams.

 

So that’s what we’re going to do next.  I’m going to step away from the podium, and Secretary Duncan, Menbere, Jeff, and Keshia are going to come back out, and we’re going to talk.  We’re going to ask you some questions, you’re going to ask you some questions.  We’ll listen.  I don’t want you go be shy, I want you to be relaxed, okay?  And we’ll talk more about how do we get you to your goals, okay?  And hopefully, this conversation here will help students around the country.

 

So are you all ready for that?  You have questions?

 

STUDENTS:  Yes.

 

MRS. OBAMA:  All right.  Well, let’s get it started.  Let’s bring out the other panelists.  You all, thank you so much.  We love you, and I’m so proud of you all.  Keep going.  (Applause.)

 

END
11:41 A.M. EST

 

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