​First Lady to speak at UTSA


The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama will be at UTSA on Friday, May 2. She will be speaking in support of the Fourth Annual College Signing Day, an initiative started by Mayor Julian Castro to encourage students to attend college.

The Mayor announced the First Lady’s visit at Briscoe Academy Middle School.

More than 2,000 high school seniors are expected to fill the Convocation Center, where they will pledge to continue their education to pursue a college degree. However, the event is closed to the public, and UTSA students will not be allowed entry into the event.

In her speech, the First Lady will touch on the significance of pursuing higher education and how it ties into the President’s “North Star” education goal for the U.S. to have the largest proportion of college graduates internationally by 2020.

Using the hashtag #ReachHigher, the First Lady is encouraging people across the country to share photos of themselves wearing college apparel via social media.

College signing day is one of the many events sponsored by Destination College, a week of free events to celebrate San Antonio as a city committed to higher education. Other events include a Destination College kick-off, silly sock day and a career block party — among others that can be found at iknowwhereimgoing.com.

Destination College is a part of the Mayor’s SA2020 plan, which aims to increase high school enrollment by 80 percent and achieve 50 percent college completion by 2020. According to the Destination College website, San Antonio’s graduation rates have already increased by 42 percent since 2010.

It is these impressive statistics that has attracted the First Lady to San Antonio. According to Darryl Byrd, president and CEO of SA2020, the First Lady was impressed by San Antonio’s education initiatives after learning about them through U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

In an interview with KSAT 12 News, Byrd said of the First Lady’s visit, “We’ve done this as well or better than any other city in the nation, and she recognizes that and she wants to celebrate it and continue to forward it as a model.”