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Wale promotes higher learning with First Lady Obama at ionWhite House education summit

buzzz worthy. . .

Hip Hop star Wale spent most of his time at the White House yesterday in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's Beat the Odds Summit , an extension of the "Reach Higher" initiative.  "Reach Higher" focuses on ensuring universal access to higher education. The popular rapper shared experiences from his collegiate days on a panel.  Over 130 college bound students from around the US and Puerto Rico who have overcome "substantial obstacles" (such as the children of Dreamers and those with special needs) attended the summit, which was moderated by Terrance Jenkins, co-anchor of E! News. 

Prior to the event Wale said: "I’m beyond honored & grateful to be involved in the First Lady’s “Reach Higher” initiative & to have the opportunity to sit down with her, as well as perform for the kids of D.C. I believe that the youth are the first step in creating a better country, so to be involved in a program that aims to enrich their lives is truly the greatest reward,” says Wale. “Having grown up in Washington, D.C., being invited to the White House by the First Lady is a dream come true. Thank you to Mrs. Obama & her entire staff for this opportunity."

Wale was eyeing a career in professional football when he attended colleges in Virginia and Maryland on football scholarships, but he never finished school and chose a career in music.  However, college is where here learned to be self-reliant and sense of being a go-getter, he said.

"College essentially to me was taking the training wheels off my life."

First Lady Obama told Jessica Waters of Dayton, OH there is no substitution for hard work when asked Frist for her bet advice for advice on being successful.

"I’ve gone to the best schools.  My kids go to good schools.  And I’m telling you, folks work hard.  People are going to class.  They're doing their homework.  They're studying for the SATs.  When they get to college, they don't play.  They don't think it’s a joke.  They know why they're there."

Continuing she said President Obama is a shining example of a hard worker. 


     So if anything, they have the advantage of understanding that success is hard work because maybe they’ve seen their parents who get up every day and go to jobs and travel and make sacrifices for the money that they make.  Hard work is at the core of everything.  And if it’s too easy, then you're probably not working hard enough. 
     I am where I am, Barack is where he is because -- let me tell you, this President works hard.  (Applause.)  He works hard.  He works all the time.  He is always reading.  He is always writing.  He is never off.  You're not -- success is not easy. 
     So you got to embrace that reality, and then not think that if you stumble, that somehow it’s over.  Everybody up here knows that failure is a necessary part of growth and success.  Each and every one of us on stage has failed in some big, horrible, embarrassing way at some point in our lives.  And I’m sure it’s going to happen again.  That's the way it is. 
The day-long event concluded with the crowd standing as the DC-based rapper performed three of his hits.

Syndicated radio host Rickey Smiley was also on hand.  Smiley interviewed First Lady Obama in a one-on-one pertaining to access to post secondary education that will air on Monday, July 27 on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show and Dish Nation.

Smiley lauded the White House for its efforts to level to playing for everyone to attend college.