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Michelle Obama commended a group of college graduates for fighting against the odds to get their degrees.

Mrs. Obama believes that nothing can stand in the way of someone who is truly determined to get an education.

The First Lady addressed a group of former DC College Access Program students at a graduation celebration in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Among the attendees was Rhia Hardman, a woman raised be her crack-addicted father and stepmother. Despite growing up in an environment where she sometimes didn’t have running or electricity, Rhia graduated from Virginia State University with honor this spring.

Another student named Rashema Melson has been homeless for years, but she’s still graduated as the valedictorian of her high school. She’s heading to Georgetown University this fall.

During her speech, FLOTUS held the young women up as examples of how it is possible to overcome seemingly hopeless.

“So many of you have stories just like these,” she said to the graduates. “Stories of families who couldn’t support you, of communities where you weren’t safe, schools that maybe didn’t always live up to your promise. But ultimately, despite it all, you chose to succeed.”

She credited the entire DC-CAP crowd as a collective inspiration because they serve as role models to kids who come from all types of different backgrounds. In her estimation with they “can graduate from college despite such overwhelming odds, then there is no reason why every child in this country can’t follow in your footsteps.”

Read the first lady’s full address to the grads here!


First Lady Michelle Obama Commends Grads For Beating The Odds was originally published on

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