Michelle Obama's New Agenda: College Access

First lady shifts attention from kids' bellies to teens' minds
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2013 1:00 PM CST
First lady Michelle Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 8, 2013, at a workshop for high school students about careers in film.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Sorry, potentially obese children of America, Michelle Obama has a new hobby. The first lady is taking up the cause of higher education access, particularly for low-income students, the New York Times observes, an effort that could come with a greater role in shaping policy. Today, she'll speak at Bell Multicultural High School in DC, preaching the importance of higher education and using herself as an example. Obama, the daughter of a pump worker, graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law School.

"I'm here today because I want you to know that my story can be your story," her prepared remarks read. Aides say she intends to spread that message at high schools around the country. She will focus more on such outreach than policy, but some observers see it as a step in that direction. "She just could not have done this four years ago," one history professor specializing in first ladies says. "Just look at the reaction to her suggestions that people eat salad." (Read more Michelle Obama stories.)

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