New Orleans college student inspires First Lady at White House higher …

In College Education | on January, 18, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

New Orleans college student inspires First Lady at White House higher …
News from NOLA.com:

WASHINGTON — A New Orleans college student, who said he couldn’t read until he was 12 and did everything he could to avoid the classroom so his illiteracy wouldn’t be exposed, was the star of a White House conference Thursday designed to expand higher education opportunities for low-income Americans.

Troy Simon, now a sophomore studying American literature at New York’s Bard College, was chosen to introduce First Lady Michelle Obama. There were some tears from audience members as Simon described his struggles, including living for a year in an abandoned building in New Orleans and tap dancing with a cousin in the French Quarter to generate enough cash to get by.

Simon said he had a “portfolio of excuses,” including the separation of his parents, being sent to live with relatives, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and living for a year in an abandoned building. To avoid going to a classroom, Simon said he would start fights, knock over chairs and write on walls.

A fifth-grade teacher helped him learn to read and write, but just as important, he said, was a change in attitude that de…………… continues on NOLA.com

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Michelle Obama uses life story to promote education initiative
News from Washington Post:

When she was in high school and eyeing Princeton University as a college destination, Michelle Obama said, counselors warned her she was too ambitious. “They told me I was never going to get into a school like Princeton,” she told a group of low-income students recently. “I still hear that doubt ringing in my head.”

As she settles into her husband’s second term — and celebrates her 50th birthday Friday — the first lady is using her life story to propel a major White House push to get low-income students to go to college. Administration officials believe Obama’s biography — growing up in a working-class family on the South Side of Chicago — is one of the most powerful tools they have to increase the number of low-income children who make it to college.

The new focus marks a more personal approach for the first lady, who previously was less likely to discuss details of her educational background. It also moves her away from the relatively benign task of promoting healthy diets and exercise and into the fraught arena of education policy and ties her more clo…………… continues on Washington Post

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