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First Lady Addresses Graduates From Anacostia High School

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First lady Michelle Obama spoke to Anacostia High School's graduating seniors.
Kavitha Cardoza
First lady Michelle Obama spoke to Anacostia High School's graduating seniors.

By Kavitha Cardoza

First lady Michelle Obama told graduating seniors of Anacostia Senior High School in southeast D.C. to soak up the moment and pat themselves on the back.

Looking out at more than 150 graduates in dark blue gowns, Mrs. Obama told them to work hard and dream big.

"Perhaps there were those that wanted to write you off; maybe because of assumptions they made about you, or your school or your community," she says. "But everyday you're proving them wrong. You're proving it doesn't matter what anyone thinks about you or what you can achieve. The only thing that matters is what you think about yourself."

The first lady's speech was punctuated by shouts of "we love you Michelle!" She choked up while thanking family members for supporting the graduates.

"I remember my parents sacrificing for us," she says, "pouring everything they had into us. Being there for us, encouraging us to reach for a life they never knew. And it is because of the support I got from teachers and mentors that I am standing here today."

Mrs. Obama's words are particularly meaningful for this school. Last year, only about half the students graduated and 20 percent had college acceptance letters. Since then, a charter school group took over management. This year almost 80 percent of students graduated, of those almost all have been accepted into college.

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