Monday, May 16, 2011

President Obama Delivers Commencement Speech at Booker T. Washington High School

Today, President Obama delivered the commencement speech at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee. Competing against schools across the country, Booker T. Washington High School demonstrated an incredible increase of graduating students from 4% in 2005 to 70% in 2010, and was selected based on their entry video. Here are some highlights from the president’s speech:

“Well, we are here today because every single one of you stood up and said, ‘Yes we can.’ Yes we can learn. Yes we can succeed. You decided that you weren’t going to be defined by where you came from, but by where you want to go – by what you want to achieve, by the dreams you hope to fulfill.”

“Today BTW is a place that has proven why we can’t accept any excuses when it comes to education; that in the United States of America, we should never accept anything less than the best our children have to offer. As your teacher Steve McKinney, a.k.a. Big Mac, said in the local paper, ‘[W]e need everyone to broaden their ideas about what is possible. We need parents, politicians, and the media to see how success is possible, how success is happening every day…’”

“Education also teaches you the value of discipline – that the greatest rewards come not from instant gratification, but from sustained effort and hard work. It’s a lesson that’s especially important today, in a culture that prizes flash over substance, that tells us the goal in life is to be entertained, that says you can be famous just for being famous.”

Read the full speech

Booker T. Washington Entry Video

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