The White House “Beating the Odds” Summit 2016

On July 19 2016, I had the opportunity to attend Michelle Obama’s “Beating the Odds” Summit at the White House in Washington D.C. At the event there was a panel where Michelle Obama, Jidenna (Performing Artist), John B. King, Jr. (U.S Secretary of Education), and Rachel Scott (University of Washington Student) shared their experiences about attending college and the importance of getting your degree.

The day began with a lot of security checks, while trying to get into the White House. We eventually made it through and mingled with other students from across the country, over a light breakfast, who were attending the event as well. After a few minutes we were transferred to another room where a group of “Beating the Odds” students, who are now in college, conversed with us. They spoke to us about the struggles they encountered, such as being a minority, growing up in a violent environment or being an immigrant, and yet they continued to pursue their education. These college students inspired and encouraged me even more to make sure I focus on my education and get my college degree. Their stories made me realize that anything is possible regardless of your situation. I really appreciated that they shared such personal information, as it helped motivate young individuals like myself.

As the day went on, the moment I had been waiting for finally occurred: Michelle Obama walked out to talk to us along with Jidenna, John B. King, Jr., and Rachel Scott. Even though it was my first time meeting these people, I genuinely felt a real connection to them because of how honest and truthful they were. I especially enjoyed listening to Michelle Obama. When she spoke I didn’t see her as the first lady, but as a normal human being that experienced the same struggles we went through and worked hard to get to where she is now. She told us about the challenges we are going to face in college, such as being overwhelmed with work or not being able to go that party because you have to stay in and study, but she also told us that when we overcome those challenges there’s this overpowering feeling of joy that makes those struggling times worth it. She also told us to make sure we stay involved and to make a difference in this world. I will forever hold on to those words and make sure I fulfill them.

Even though I was always motivated to go to college and get a degree, attending this event made me 100% more positive that I’m moving towards the right direction and I am beating the odds!