In an effort to highlight and encourage underrepresented students in pursuit of higher education, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2nd Annual Beating the Odds Summit in Washington, D.C. Among thousands of nominees, two Upward Bound Scholars were granted a coveted opportunity to visit Michelle Obama at the White House.
Estrella Velez and Tania Wilson, both heading to IUPUI in the fall, could not believe they were selected. Tearfully echoing one another, "This can't be real. We're going to the White House to meet Michelle Obama." Velez and Wilson were among 130 students in attendance - all being either first-generation and/or low-income. During the Summit, students received a student panel discussion led by Wes Moore, founder and CEO of BridgeEDU followed by an informational session with the First Lady, Secretary of Education John King, musical artist Jidenna, a Standford graduate, and YouTube personality Tyler Oakley offering students information regarding the financial, academic and social components of college. "There is nothing more important that you all can do for yourselves than get your education - however you have to do it. You have to do this," said Mrs. Obama before receiving a wave of cheers. After a group photo with the First Lady; break-out sessions/workshops in various rooms of the White House; and lunch in the State Dining Room, attendees received a mini concert from performing artist, Jidenna.
Congratulations, Tania and Estrella!