First Lady Inspires CPS Graduates 

Michelle Obama Provides Commencement Address for King College Prep

June 10, 2015

Thanks to one very special guest, seniors from Martin Luther King, Jr. College Preparatory High School will never forget their high school graduation ceremony.

After winning the First Lady's FAFSA video challenge, these students were treated to a dynamic commencement address from First Lady Michelle Obama. A CPS graduate, Mrs. Obama returned to her native Chicago to offer the Class of 2015 accolades and advice.  

“With your roots in this community and your education from this school, you have everything…everything you need to succeed in life,” said Mrs. Obama. “With every choice you make, and with the way you carry yourself each day, you can write a new story about our communities.”

Her visit to King was part of the First Lady’s “Reach Higher” initiative – an effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school. King was the winner of Mrs. Obama’s FAFSA Completion Challenge, having submitted a mock episode of the TV drama “Scandal” to demonstrate their creative approach to this important process. When they heard about it, the cast of “Scandal” sent the King graduates a congratulatory message that was shown at graduation. Watch their special message here.

“It was an honor and a privilege to have the first Lady as our commencement speaker,” said King principal David Narain. “Our senior class has gone through a lot, yet they have used these experiences to grow and become stronger. The First Lady really tapped into this in her comments, with a personalized message that inspired our students to keep going, never give up, and never accept the stereotype that people hold for minority students coming from the south side of Chicago.”

Located in Chicago’s North Kenwood community, King is a top-performing school with nationally recognized arts programs, a 94 percent graduation rate and 100 percent college acceptance among its graduating seniors. The first public high school in the U.S. to be named for the iconic Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this school promotes a legacy of academic excellence, social justice, and civic responsibility.

To see First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech to King’s Class of 2015, click here

Page Last Modified on Thursday, July 23, 2015