First Lady At San Antonio Signing Day Reach Higher Event


By Jueseppi B.




Reach Higher For College: The First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative.


Reach Higher For College: The First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative. The First Lady’s Reach Higher InitiativeToday, the First Lady is heading to the University of Texas at San Antonio to talk to high school students during the city’s fourth-annual College Signing Day. College Signing Day is part of Destination College, the city’s week-long celebration to encourage students to pursue and complete some form of higher education.




Remarks by the First Lady at San Antonio Signing Day Reach Higher Event


University of Texas, San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas

12:39 P.M. CDT


MRS. OBAMA:  Hey!  (Applause.)  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Let me tell you, I am thrilled to be here today — and not just because I get to wear a T-shirt, because I never get to wear a T-shirt to work.  I’m here because this is such an incredible event.  It really is.  This is amazing.  You all are showing that signing days like these are not just for all-American athletes, but they’re for all-Americans.  Period.


So I want to just give a big shout-out to San Antonio, Texas for the great work that they’re doing.  You all should be very proud of yourselves.  (Applause.)  Yes!


But, before we begin, I just want to take a few moments to thank a few people — your tremendous mayor, Mayor Castro — (applause) — yes, as well as his very cool brother, Congressman Castro — (applause) — and all of the elected officials, all the school administrators, all the university presidents who are here, and of course, all of the parents.  Let’s hear it for the parents; there are a few here.  (Applause.)  Thank you for being here today.  Thank you all for everything you do for these young people.


I also want to thank the University of Texas-San Antonio for hosting us here today.  (Applause.)


And finally, I have to thank Rocio for that very, very kind introduction and for sharing her story.  (Applause.)  She is pretty amazing, and I know she represents all of you so well.  And really, her story of grit and determination and commitment to education –- that’s what we’re celebrating today.


Each of you has your own story of how you made it to this day –- a story that includes a lot of other folks who were there with you along the way.  Maybe you were raised by a single mom who worked two jobs to put food on the table.  Well, this day is for her, right?  (Applause.)  Maybe a teacher or a counselor encouraged you to apply to that stretch school, or to do more than you thought you could do.  Well, this day is for them.  (Applause.)


Maybe your family was like Rocio’s and you came to this country just a few years ago to give you a chance at a better life.  Well, this day is the day you all can celebrate another step toward achieving your American Dream.  (Applause.)  Or maybe, like me, along the way, somebody told you you would never make it to this day; that you simply weren’t college material.  Well, this day is for the doubters and the haters, too.  (Applause.)  It’s the day that they see how wrong they were.  This is their day, too.


But most of all, this day is for you.  It’s for all those years of hard work you all put in, right?  All those late nights and tough classes, right?  All those obstacles that you fought your way through because no matter what, you were determined to go to college — and you did it.  You made it, and you should be so proud of yourselves.  Because I am so proud of you.  So let’s just take a moment to give yourselves a round of applause.  To the San Antonio class of 2014!  (Applause.)  We are all so proud of you.  We’re so proud!


And I am honored to be here.  I didn’t want to be anywhere else but here with you.  (Applause.)  This is a big day.  And while my main reason to come here was to celebrate with you all, I also want to talk to you about another big day that is on the horizon for you, and that is the day you graduate from college.  That’s right.  (Applause.)


You see, what I’ve learned is that reaching a milestone like this means that you’ve just raised the bar for yourself, all right?  It gets higher.  Because just getting into college isn’t the ultimate goal.  You have got to stay focused once you get there, and you’ve got to get that degree or that certificate.  And you’ve got to be thinking every step of the way, what comes next?  Start thinking like that.


That’s something that I learned from my parents.  My family didn’t have much money.  My parents were working-class folks.  But they always taught me that going to college was the expectation.  There was no other choice.


So I focused my entire high school career not just on getting a high school diploma, but on getting into Princeton.  And I knew I needed to have a clear plan to reach my goal, and I knew that it was my responsibility to execute that plan.  It was my job.  So, like many of you, I worked hard in high school.  I made sure that I took the right classes.  I studied 24/7.  And I agonized over those college essays.  I know you all are done that — happy that’s done, right?


And by the time senior year rolled around and I finally got that acceptance letter, I actually ended up feeling more relieved than excited.  I mean, I definitely celebrated that important achievement, but I quickly got my mind ready for my next goal.  I was already thinking about what I needed to do.  I knew I needed to be as focused about getting my college degree as I was about getting my high school diploma.


So I started developing my plan to get through college.  What courses should I be taking?  How hard would I need to study to get the grades that I needed?  What would I need to do to get into graduate school?  What kind of career did I want?  Those were just some of the questions that were rolling through my head.


And today, I hope that all of you are starting to ask yourselves some of those questions.  I hope you’re asking, what am I going to do this summer to prepare for my first semester in college?  What do I want my major to be?  How am I going to pay tuition year after year?  Should I get a part-time job or not?  What’s my plan to pay off my college loans when I’m done?


And if those questions feel a little scary, that’s okay.  That’s actually a good thing, because let me tell you, getting through college requires persistence and focus and determination.  And there are going to be times when you feel like you’re going to fail.  And that definitely happened to me.  I thought I had done everything I could to prepare myself for Princeton, but when I got there, I was totally overwhelmed.  I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t know how to pick my classes — I didn’t even bring the right size sheets for my bed.  It was pretty pathetic.


But, step by step, I developed my plan, and I got better and better at executing it.  And eventually, I found my way.  I went to the student multicultural center, started making new friends.  I reached out to an advisor who would answer any questions that I had.  And I studied as hard as I could to get the grades that I wanted.


And soon enough, I realized that I had everything I needed to handle college.  I knew how to work hard — so do you.  I knew how to battle through adversity — so do you.  I knew how to ask for help when I needed it.  What I learned was that the same qualities that got me through high school would be the same qualities that would get me through Princeton, and later, through Harvard Law School.


So I want you all to understand that those moments when you’re feeling anxious or insecure, those moments when you’re not sure you can reach that next level — those are the moments when you shape yourself into who you want to be.  That’s actually proven by science and research that shows that when you think hard about something or you struggle to solve a problem — whether it’s math or science, or a problem in life — your brain is actually growing.  You’re actually becoming smarter because of that struggle.  So embrace it.  Relish those moments.  Those are the moments when you’ve got to tell yourself to reach higher.


And that’s really my message to all of you today.  You have come so far, you’ve climbed so high to get here, but you have got to keep reaching higher.  And that’s a message that I’ve been delivering not just to you guys here but to young people all across this country.  Because while we adults have to do our part to give you the support you need — like building the best schools, and training the best teachers in the world — really, at the end of the day, the most important person in your education is you.


See, you decide whether you show up for class.  You decide how many hours you put in that library.  You decide whether or not you’re going to ask for help or you’re going to quit — that’s on you.  That’s what I’ve been speaking about with young people over these past few months.  And today, I’m also here because I’m proud to announce that I’m giving this effort that we’re going to embark on a name and an aspiration.


We are calling it what?  Reach Higher.  Makes sense — Reach Higher.  (Applause.)  Reach Higher is my new initiative, and it’s about inspiring every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school — whether at a professional training program, or a community college, or a four-year university or college.  Because while it’s good news that high school graduation rates have climbed to their highest levels ever in this country, we also know that in today’s world, a high school degree simply isn’t enough.  To get a good job, to compete, you have got to reach higher.


The fact is, a generation ago our country had the highest percentage of college graduates in the world.  But today, we have dropped all the way to 12th.  And that’s unacceptable.  That’s not who we are.  And all of you have a role to play to help get us get back on top, because the education you get today won’t just help you compete; it’s going to help our entire country compete in a global economy.


So with this initiative, we’re going to make sure that every student in this country understands what they need to do to complete their education and take their place on that world roster.  We’re going to be focusing on things like financial aid, summer learning opportunities that get you where you need to be, getting kids off of high schools and onto college campuses for visits, exposing them to different careers, and supporting high school counselors so that they can keep on helping more kids like you get into college.  (Applause.)


And we’re kicking everything off today — this is the kick off, today — by spreading the spirit of this signing day all across America.  (Applause.)  So what we’ve done is that we’ve asked everyone to take a picture in their college T-shirt, or in their colors, their hat — we want them to Instagram it, Facebook it, or tweet it with the hashtag #ReachHigher.


And we’ve got everybody doing this.  At the White House, everybody is wearing their high school gear — or their college gear.  The President is wearing his colors.  (Applause.)  The Vice President and Dr. Biden.  (Applause.)  So we want Americans all across the country to join in, as well.


So this is a call not just to the young people in America, but to everyone in this country to help with this goal.  We need everybody to reach higher for our young people.  We need more parents reading to their kids at an early age.  We need more businesses offering jobs and internships for young people like all of you.  We need more foundations offering college scholarships.  (Applause.)  And we need more communities doing what you all are doing right here in San Antonio, like building new preschools — you’re doing that here — like recruiting volunteers to help students fill out their financial aid forms — you all are doing that here in San Antonio — and hosting career fairs, and college summit days, and signing days just like this one.


San Antonio, you all are what Reach Higher is all about –- a community coming together to lift up its young people so they can fulfill every last bit of their potential.  And we’re seeing more and more communities — from California to Iowa to Philadelphia -– they’re coming up with creative new ways to encourage their students to complete their education past high school as well.


And while we’ve still got a lot of work to do to spread this message all across the country, we know that in the end, a big part of this effort is in your hands as young people.  It’s up to all of you to hold up your end of the bargain.


So no matter what life throws your way –- because it has, and will continue to mess with you.  Life is a trip.  But no matter what, whether that’s a tough class, financial difficulties, or something else –- it’s going to keep coming, but you have got to stay focused on that horizon for yourself.  You have got to keep your heart in the game every single day.  You have got to commit yourselves to your future and to your education.  Can you do that?  (Applause.)  You guys ready for that challenge?  I think that you are.


But I think now is a good time that we go into that college commitment pledge, right?  You all know what I’m talking about.  I know you all have been practicing this pledge, and we are going to do it together.  Are you all ready?  (Applause.)




Help First Lady Michelle Obama Encourage Students to Reach Higher


Published on May 2, 2014

Join First Lady Michelle Obama highlight the importance of pursuing and completing some form of higher education by wearing your college t-shirt. Take picture and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with the hashtag #ReachHigher.







All right, here’s what I want all my high school college-bound graduates to do:  I want you to raise your right hands.  Stand up straight.  Stomachs in, backs straight, chin — head proud.  And repeat after me:


I believe in my future and myself.  (Students repeat.)


I commit to enroll in college.  (Students repeat.)


I commit to persevere when I get there.  (Students repeat.)


I commit to graduate.  (Students repeat.)


And no matter what, I commit to always reach higher for myself, for my family, and for my community.  (Students repeat.)


All right!  (Applause.)  So seniors, now comes the hard part.  You have got to make that pledge a reality.  Because I don’t know if you know this, that there’s something — I’m going to be watching you, first of all.  (Laughter.)  And you cannot break a promise to the First Lady of the United States of America.  Come on, now!  (Laughter and applause.)


I am counting on you all.  I am looking you all in the face, and I know that you can do this.  Go in there knowing that you can do this.  Whoever you’re sitting next to in class, you are just as smart as they are.  You belong in those seats, do you understand me?


If I can do it, you can do this.  It is not rocket science.  You all have brains in your head, and you guys have character — that’s what matters.  You roll up your sleeves, you work hard, and you make us proud, okay?  Make your families proud, your community proud.


And when you run into trouble, you promise me you ask for help.  Don’t suffer by yourself.  Everybody needs help.  I need help every day.  (Laughter.)  So I want you guys to always reach out and ask for help.  Will you promise me that?




MRS. OBAMA:  All right.  I cannot wait to see what you all do with the rest of your lives.  I am so honored to be here.  Congratulations.  And I will see you in a few years when you get those degrees.


God bless you all.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)


12:58 P.M. CDT



The First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative Images


This slideshow requires JavaScript.





Enhanced by Zemanta

Staples You Suck: Printed Copy Of Petition To Be Delivered To Staples Corporate Today!


By Jueseppi B.




Printed copy of Petition to be Delivered to Staples Corporate Today!


By Sue Whistleblower


This is it! The day where all our hard work pays off! A 10 lb box of printed signatures was sent to Staples Corporate Headquarters and is scheduled to be delivered today!


If Staples doesn’t respond within a week, I would like to schedule a Call-In to the Office of the President on Monday February 3rd.

Thanks again for your continued support!
The following letter was included with the petition signatures:
Sue Whistleblower
1660 Soldiers Field Road
Brighton, MA 02135
January 18, 2014
Ron Sargent
Chief Executive Officer
500 Staples Drive
Framingham, MA 01702
Dear Ron Sargent:
I am a part-time employee of your company, Staples. I have served Staples faithfully for many years, and have earned your company far more income than you have paid me over that time. On January 4th, 2014, a policy was enacted at your retail stores that limited part-time employees to 25 hours a week. I have worked over 25 hours a week for the entirety of my employment at your company, as have a vast majority of your part-time staff. I inquired about the reason of the policy up the chain of command, and was not given a straight answer at every level.
It is for this reason, that we the part-time employees of Staples, hereby petition your company for the following actions:
1. Amend your policy to at least 35 hours a week for part-time employees or abolish said policy.
2. If there are reasons this cannot be done, Staples is to make an honest and truthful public statement as to why.
You are probably wondering under what authority we as employees have the right to demand such changes from the CEO of a company. As Customer Service Representatives, it is not only our duty to represent the company to the customer, it is also our duty to represent the customer to the company. Enclosed is a printed copy of over 200,000 signatures of people who disagree with your current actions and demand you change your policy. Most of them are your customers and have pledged not to shop at your stores until you take corrective action.
We know that thousands of other companies have been enacting similar policies for one reason, the Affordable Health Care Act. We also know that the medical insurance you currently offer through Aetna does not meet the minimum standards of the law. The ACA states that any employee working over 30 hours a week is entitled to health insurance, or the company faces steep fines. We understand that paying those fines would be an unacceptable cost to your corporation. However, we encourage Staples to be more open as to why this company is enacting such changes. If complying with the law would cost Staples hundreds of millions of dollars, then speak out!
If you truly need to enact such policies to avoid hefty fees, and to give you time to research ways to comply with the law that meet the needs of both the company and its employees, then please make this known in a public statement!
We also hereby inform you that we will use all lawful means to petition your company until we receive an answer, and that this letter will be distributed to all petition signers.
Sue Whistleblower
Petition Executor
Enclosed: 201,751 petition signatures from

Twas The Night Before Christmas & ALL Through Staples….Employees Get Their Hours Cut To Avoid ObamaCARES.


By Jueseppi B.




On December 6th of 2013 I wrote this…. “Tis The Holiday Season” At Wal-Mart, a Wal-Mart employees mom’s account of an incident at her son’s Wal-Mart store. Now come a similar store about Staples.


The Petition: “Staples: Don’t Cut Part-Time Hours Because of Obamacare!.” 


My name is “Sue,” and I work at Staples. I can’t tell you my full name because I’m afraid I’ll lose my job for what I’m about to tell you: Staples recently decided to cut part-time employees’ hours just so they won’t have to provide health care benefits under Obamacare.


Staples is taking advantage of a loophole in the health care law that says employers don’t have to provide coverage for employees who work less than 30 hours a week. Staples also told managers to hire more part time workers if they need people to cover the schedule.


Cutting employees’ hours just to avoid paying for health care is not right. I can’t afford to make less money than I do now without taking on another job. That’s why I started a petition on asking Staples to not cut part-time employees’ hours and comply with Obamacare. Will you join me by signing my petition?


I’ve worked as an Easy-Tech Representative for 9 years now, selling thousands of computers, protection plans, and services. I typically work 30-35 hours in a week, so when I was told that my hours would be cut, I was heartbroken. I recently got married and we have a baby on the way — 25 hours a week is not enough to make ends meet, let alone start a family.


Staples doesn’t want to provide health care to its employees — but there is hope. Other chain employers such as Darden Restaurants (owners of Olive Garden and Red Lobster) reversed similar cuts after intense public pressure. And other corporations like Starbucks have pledged not to reduce part time hours.


By signing my petition, you’ll be amplifying the voices of thousands of Staples employees across the country who are afraid to speak out and can’t afford to have their hours cut. Click here to sign my petition demanding Staples follow the law and provide health care instead of cutting part-time employees’ hours.


Thank you for your support.

“Sue” Whistleblower




Sue’s Petition:


Staples: Don’t Cut Part-Time Hours Because of Obamacare!


I am writing this petition as an anonymous person, as I fear my employer will persecute me if they knew my identity. My trust in the company I work for has been shaken, as they have enacted a new policy to reduce our hours, and I believe they are not telling the whole truth as to why.


I have worked as an Easy-Tech Representative at Staples, sold countless thousands of computers, protection plans, and services, and have made Staples far more money than they have paid me. I typically work 30-35 hours in a week, and have so for about 9 years now. I enjoy working at Staples, and the staff at my store have come to depend on me. I love my job. I recently got married, and am pregnant with my first child.


However, in mid-December, the company announced to the staff at my store: A new policy of limiting ALL part-time workers to 25 hours a week — with NO exceptions — for reasons of “Scheduling Flexibility”.


This left me heartbroken, as I knew 25 hours a week wouldn’t let me make ends meet, let alone have enough to start a family!I questioned my co-workers as to why they would make such a drastic change. Even the General Manager couldn’t get a straight answer out of the upper management. So I decided to do a little digging, and with the help of the internet, I came across what appears to be the answer: The Affordable Healthcare Act aka “Obamacare.”


I read about how countless other companies were slashing part-time hours to use a loophole in the law: You don’t have to pay for healthcare if your employees don’t work more than 30 hours a week. I also learned that the Aetna medical insurance plan that Staples provided didn’t count, as it didn’t provide enough coverage to meet the minimums.


I was stunned. The TRUE reason was obvious: Staples didn’t want to follow the law and provide better heathcare to its employees. Instead, its giving its part-time workers a de facto pay cut and saving money by using a loophole.


However, there is hope. Other major employers such as Darden Restaurants (owners of Olive Garden and Red Lobster) rescinded similar cuts after intense pressure. Congress has also delayed the requirement until 2015, giving Congress time to sort things out. Corporations such as Starbucks and H-E-B have pledged NOT to reduce part time hours.


Will you join me in asking Staples to join companies like Starbucks and H-E-B to pledge NOT the cut part time employees’ hours? 


Ron Sargent, CEO of Staples
Don’t Cut Part-Time Hours Because of Obamacare! Join Starbucks and H-E-B in pledging not to cut hours!

[Your name]


Sign this petition





I received many comments on my Wal-Mart post alerting me that I only posted/reported one side of that story. So here’s a solution to that lie….if you have opposing information or facts to this Staples post or the Wal-Mart post, and when I say facts, thats exactly what I mean, then send that opposite side of the big box story to me, and I’ll post them.


Otherwise, miss me with your bull shit.



getcovered_find_share getcovered_smartthingtodo_0 getcovered_mom_share_0 getcovered_accident_share getcovered_sick_share

@smrtgrls AmyPoehler SmartGirls Questions about the new Health insurance marketplace? Head to  to get #GetCovered

@smrtgrls AmyPoehler SmartGirls Questions about the new Health insurance marketplace? Head to to get #GetCovered


Taye Diggs @TayeDiggs Got insurance? #getcovered

Taye Diggs
Got insurance? #getcovered

Valerie Jarrett @vj44 Put your Mom at ease already, and #GetCovered! Sign up for healthcare NOW at  !

Valerie Jarrett
Put your Mom at ease already, and #GetCovered! Sign up for healthcare NOW at !

Michael A. Nutter @Michael_Nutter #getcovered

Michael A. Nutter

Kate Bosworth @katebosworth Questions about the new Health Insurance Marketplace?  #GetCovered

Kate Bosworth
Questions about the new Health Insurance Marketplace? #GetCovered

Pharrell Williams @Pharrell No health insurance? #GetCovered at

Pharrell Williams
No health insurance? #GetCovered at

unnamed unnamed (1)


enoughisenough2 (1)

President Barack Hussein Obama Takes YOUR Calls Tonight On Organizing For Action (OFA)


By Jueseppi B.




Tune in here for live audio events about the issues you care about most.



President Obama is joining an exclusive call with OFA supporters to talk about what’s next in the fight for change.


The call will stream live on this page starting at 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time tonight, Monday, November 18th.


President Obama is joining an exclusive call with OFAsupporters to talk about what’s next in the fight for change. It starts at 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, November 18th.




RSVP now to save your spot — and you’ll receive instructions to join the call:


Your instructions to join the call with President Obama Tonight.


Thanks for signing up to join the exclusive call with President Obama.




Here’s what you need to know to join in:

The call starts tonight, Monday, November 18th, at 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time.


During the call, you can direct questions and comments to


Shortly before the call begins, go here to listen in live:


Organizing for Action


I want to cut through the noise and talk with you directly about where we’re headed in the fight for change.


That’s why I’m getting on the phone with OFA supporters this Monday, November 18th.


Will you join me?


I have just over three years left as president — and there’s a lot left on my to-do list.


That’s why I want to talk with you. You’re the ones putting in the time and effort to achieve real progress, and fighting to make the agenda Americans voted for last fall a reality.


I know we all care about what we can get done together these next few years, so let’s talk about how to make it happen.


Make sure you join Monday’s call:


Thanks — I can’t wait to catch up.




Organizing for Action is the grassroots movement built by millions of Americans to pass the agenda we voted for in 2012.



Today, we’re organizing to create jobs and strengthen the middle class, fix our broken immigration system, fight climate change, prevent gun violence, get the facts out about Obamacare, protect women’s rights, ensure marriage equality and push forward on even more issues.


No matter the issue, OFA works to ensure the voices of ordinary Americans are heard in Washington, while training the next generation of grassroots organizers that will keep fighting for change.


What is Organizing for Action?



Published on Jun 7, 2013

OFA is made up of people who are committed to working for change — both locally and in Washington — that’s going to move the country forward.




Barack Obama




OFA (2)








blogger4peacelogoobamacratbanner (2)


President Obama And Vice President Biden At Taylor Gourmet, October 4, 2013


By Jueseppi B.






President Obama and Vice President Biden at Taylor Gourmet, October 4, 2013


Published on Oct 4, 2013

The President and Vice President walk over to Taylor Gourmet, a small business in Washington, D.C., to thank them for providing a 10% discount (and a cookie) to furloughed employees.








Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, the information on this web site may not be up to date. Some submissions may not be processed, and we may not be able to respond to your inquiries.


Information about government operating status and resumption of normal operations is available at USA.GOV.



Nathaniel Lubin
Nathaniel Lubin 

October 04, 2013
03:47 PM EDT


This week, the House of Representatives shut down the government, the President continued to urge them to pass aresolution to open the government back up, and the Health Insurance Marketplace opened for business under the Affordable Care Act. That’s September 27th to October 3rd, or “Just vote, and end this shutdown.”





Press Briefing

October 04, 2013 | 55:31 |Public Domain


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





“Hey Joey B…” Yeah Barack?”…..”Lets Take A Walk.”





Obama: ‘This Shutdown Could Be Over Today’


Published on Oct 4, 2013

With the government shutdown in day 4, President Barack Obama cancelled a trip to Asia to deal with the crisis. On Friday, during a rare walk to get lunch, Obama again called on House Speaker John Boehner to let the House vote on a clean budget. (Oct. 4)





President Obama and Vice President Biden walk to buy lunch at a sandwich shop near the White House, October 4


President Obama and Vice President Biden walk to buy lunch at a sandwich shop near the White House, October 4







obamacratbanner (2)hatsbottomlogotruthfactsblogger4peacelogobottomlogotruthfacts



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 274,480 other followers

%d bloggers like this: