And I can tell you from my own experience just how rewarding it can be to make this kind of work the work of your careers. Often, the stove was so smoky, and the light was so poor, that students could barely see their teachers. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Post was not sent – check your email addresses! You are commenting using your Twitter account.

I mean, some of you may have grown up like me, in neighborhoods where few had the chance to go to college, where being teased for doing well in school was a fact of life, where well-meaning, but misguided folks questioned whether a girl with my background could get into a school like Princeton. Thank you, and God bless. Kristen Jarvis of Spelman class of But remember, if I die, I die for you and in a good cause. One student, a woman named Mary Ann Brooks, simply stated —- and these are her words: And even though times were tough for everyone, enough gifts poured in to help seniors graduate from Spelman that year. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: National Community Service Award Recipient: Today more than 8, Teach For America corps members are in the midst of graduaation teaching commitments in 39 regions across the country, reaching overstudents.

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Michelle Obama Inspires Spelman College Class of | State of HBCUs

In those early years, thousands of dollars of donations poured in from the black community itself. They said that at the ages of 56 and 48, these women were too old. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here The first time you set foot on the campus during Spelbound. I mean, make no mistake about it, Miss Packard, Miss Giles, they were ambitious for their students. But they were afraid that a coed school — their students would be treated as second class citizens.


Now, that is the story of Spelman college: Some of you may be worrying about getting a job or getting into grad school. And look at all these magnificent women around all of you —- the alumnae of this institution who led you through that arch on Friday, cheering you on as you start your journey into the world.

michelle obamas graduation speech at spelman college

They pushed you, they believed in you, and they answered calls those late collegw, even when you were just calling for money. You are the culmination of their sacrifice, of their longing, of their love.

But remember, if I die, I die for you and in a good cause.

Michelle Obama Inspires Spelman College Class of 2011

And now it is your turn to repay the favor. Find those folks who have so much potential, but so little opportunity, and do for them what Spelman has done for you. Thank you, and God bless.

And I am no exception. When she was barred from flying out of segregated airports, graduatkon worked with her flying school classmates and instructors to build their own airfield. And plenty of people tried to dissuade Miss Packard and Miss Giles from founding this school.

So much to the surprise of my family and friends, I left that secure, high-paying job and eventually became the Executive Director of a non-profit, working to help young people get involved in public service. But these two ladies were unmoved. She has been with me from the very beginning, looking after my girls, taking micuelle of my mom.


I mean, think about that. Your mission is to find those 11 women wherever in the world your journey may take you.

I mean, think about one of my heroines, Marian Wright Edelman, class of — applause — working as a young civil rights lawyer down in Mississippi.

Michelle Obama

Look, ladies, you want to know what Spelman does for you? Others may be wondering what it will be like to move back home with mom and dad again. Debbie Allen, director, choreographer and author Debbie Allen continues to be one of the most respected, relevant, and versatile talents in the spelmwn industry today.

michelle obamas graduation speech at spelman college

All of you already know this from your own experiences here at Spelman. All those classes, convocations, Christmas concerts — ovamas, and the late night conversations about some man.

michelle obamas graduation speech at spelman college

That is your mission now too. We sperch so proud of you. I was making a lot less money — a lot — and my office was a lot smaller. No one can ever take that away from you.