The President may be facing a lot of tough criticism at the moment, but he was received with an enthusiastic welcome at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School this afternoon, where he delivered his third annual Back-to-School speech.
Banneker, located in Washington, DC, is one of the top public high schools in the nation, and has a perfect matriculation rate. Barack Obama‘s message today was focused on what students can do to not only prepare themselves for the workplace, but also contribute to their communities now.
Obama began the speech by stressing that studying hard is a young person’s first responsibility. He encouraged students to be determined in their school work, rather than worry about grades, and to take challenging courses even if they may not earn a perfect grade. He explained that high school is a time to discover new passions and learn new skills, telling the students to “keep on expanding your horizons.”
He also touched on the importance of earning a college degree, because the majority of future jobs in this country will require further eduction. “I don’t want anyone who’s listening today to think you’re done when you finish high school,” he said, adding that too many young people in the United States enroll in college but don’t earn a degree.
“I don’t want to be just another adult who stands up and lectures you like you’re just kids,” said Obama, emphasizing the positive impact high school students can have on the future . Naturally, he mentioned that the future of our country depends on today’s students, a sentiment that is often expressed in speeches about education, from the beginning of the school year to graduation. However, Obama also stressed that students can take responsibility and have an impact staring now, sighting examples of high school students who have started not-for-profit organizations and made scientific discoveries. “You don’t have to wait to make a difference.”
Image via WhiteHouse.gov.