Last week, 14 students at Ballou STAY High School in Washington, D.C. were selected to participate in a discussion with new D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson. But that meeting was a ruse, and the students were instead treated to a visit from a surprise guest: Michelle Obama.
According to The Washington Post, the former first lady spoke to students for two hours. Ballou STAY is an alternative high school, and the students in the discussion group ranged in age from 16-23. Some live in shelters, and some have children. Caroline Adler Morales, a spokeswoman for the former first lady, told the Post that the students had an “emotional and heartfelt discussion” with Obama about their struggles and their goals.
One of these students, Aliyah Williams, said in an interview with the Post that she feels “motivated” to pursue her dream of becoming an anesthesiologist after speaking to Obama. “She told me not to let anything get in the way, and she said don’t go back and help everyone until you get where you want to be,” Williams explained.
The visit seems to indicate the Obama will continue her efforts to promote higher education for all American students. As first lady, she launched the Reach Higher initiative, which seeks to support students as they continue their education past high school.
Read the full story at the The Washington Post.