As Michelle Obama prepares to celebrate her 50th birthday this Friday, she is also beginning to focus in on a new White House push to get students from lower socio-economic backgrounds to apply to competitive colleges. Drawing upon her own experience growing up in a working-class family on the South Side of Chicago, Michelle Obama recalls her own college counselors telling her that attending Princeton University was "too ambitious." Thankfully, Obama did not listen to them. She graduated from Princeton in 1985.
Now, as part of a new education initiative, The First Lady plans on traveling across the country to speak to - and meet with - potential college applicants. According to East Wing aides, she will focus "especially on sophomores who have the full arc of the college application process ahead."
While this may seem like a daunting task, administration officials believe that since the first lady’s is telling her own personal story, she will be able to inspire more students to aim for college degrees.
And although this likely won't be the only project that Obama is working on this year, Valerie Jarrett, a top White House advisor, says, "She really wants to have a maximum impact and to do that in fewer areas."