“He will [even] say, it’s not even close,” she said.
Barack fooled around in high school. He’s said it. He didn’t take school seriously in high school. He barely got his work done. He was a bum.
It took him a second because he had to grow up a little bit,” Mrs. Obama said. “It wasn’t until his second year he transferred from Occidental [in California] to Columbia [University] when he was like, ‘I got to make something of my life. I got to get it together.'”
Mrs. Obama met with the hosts to discuss her “Better Make Room” initiative. The movement inspiring high school students to explore their education options past graduation kicked off in October 2015. MBR is a follow-up of her “Reach Higher” initiative, which encourages teens to complete their high school education. Pairing with over 20 social media, business, and nonprofit partners, MBR takes a more tactical and relatable approach towards Generation Z (14-19) and their feelings about higher education.
Better Make Room celebrates students. It acknowledges that things aren’t easy. It elevates their stories, their bravado, and hard work to new heights. It tells their stories through a lens normally reserved for sports stars and celebrities. In an info-jammed world where fame means followers, likes and reposts, the campaign brings celebrities and influencers to the platforms that today give star power to their peers: those without the traditional luck or talent of some of today’s biggest stars.
Continuing her talk, Michelle said regardless of her husband’s fumbles in grade school, he paid it forward in the end:
The First Lady explained in the interview her husband at the time had to “figure himself out as a man” after growing up without a father. “It’s never too late,” she said to the hosts. “The president of the United States screwed around in high school. And he still got his act together. He did okay.”
Hearing about the importance of education even inspired one of the show’s hosts, Tamar Braxton, to return to school. After the episode aired on Tuesday, the Grammy-nominated singer announced her plans to enroll in college.
Find out more about the “Better Make Room” movement here.