Michelle Obama’s advice for graduates

Michelle Obama

As I mentioned earlier, it’s graduation season in the United States, and just as her husband has, the first lady provided inspirational words to college graduates.

Eight months ago, Michelle Obama promised students at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., that if they completed 100,000 hours of community service, she would be their graduation speaker.On May 16, the first lady delivered on that promise, and asked one more request: “Keep going. Keep giving. Keep engaging … It is through the simple act of engaging with your counterparts around the world that you can make the world a safer place.”

“No matter where or how we live, we all have the same dreams: a life of dignity, a chance at opportunity, a better future for our kids,” she said. A transcript of Michelle Obama’s remarks is available on the White House Web site.

Graduation Season

It’s that time of year again. Graduation season, where students complete high school or college, excited for the new journeys that await them. And to help them make that transition, prominent speakers including politicians, celebrities or notable scholars, typically give a commencement address to inspire the students.

U.S. presidents usually give a handful of of these addresses each year. At the University of Michigan, President Obama spoke of the importance of working for stronger, better government. “Government shouldn’t try to guarantee results, but it should guarantee a shot at opportunity for every American who’s willing to work hard,” he told the graduates.

At Hampton University, the president’s comments on iPods presenting a challenge to democracy have caused quite a stir. You can check out my thoughts on that on the blog, By The People.

What’s unusual this graduation season is that Obama will speak at a high school ceremony. Schools from across the country submitted videos highlighting their programs. More than 170,000 people voted for their favorite three, and from there, the president selected Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan. You can check out their video on the White House Web site.