White House-Sponsored Conference Convenes at SDSU

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The landmark Hepner Hall at San Diego State University. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Updated 8:45 p.m. Nov. 17, 2014

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A two-day White House conference aimed at helping high school counselors motivate more students to get college degrees got underway Monday at San Diego State with a welcome message from first lady Michelle Obama.

About 600 counselors and education advocates from 30 states are taking part in the conference, most of them on-site at SDSU but some watching via a video hook-up. A similar event was held at Harvard University over the summer.

It was by video that the first lady welcomed attendees and emphasized the importance of a good education for young people and the future of the country.

In today’s world, a good education means going beyond high school, she said.

“I know that if we truly want to help our young people reach their college dreams, we need to support our school counselors,” Obama said. “Our young people have so much potential, and they need someone in their lives who (believe) in them, and who can show them the steps they need to take to get to college.”

In January, her husband outlined a higher education initiative to improve college affordability, lower student debt and remove barriers to competition and innovation. The Obamas want to see more young people earning college degrees.

The conference includes representatives of the White House’s College Opportunity Agenda and the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative. Eric Waldo, the Reach Higher executive director and Greg Darnieder of the U.S. Department of Education will be the featured speakers.

Widgets Magazine

A similar event was held at Harvard University this summer.

— City News Service

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