First Lady Michelle Obama, through the Reach Higher Initiative has declared today "College Signing Day", a day where we encourage the youth of America to continue their education beyond the high school.
The Reach Higher initiative is the First Lady's effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.
In today's economy, a high school diploma just isn't enough. Students have to reach higher, which is why the First Lady is working to rally the country around the President's "North Star" goal — that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
So how can you help? It's actually pretty simple. Take a few moments and share your story about how and why you chose to continue your education at the University of Kansas. Didn't actually attend KU? Don't worry, we still want to hear your story.
And you can take it even further by taking a picture of yourself with your college gear and tweeting it or sharing it on Facebook with the hashtag #ReachHigher.
To get us started, the management team here at Rock Chalk Talk decided to share their reasons for continuing their education. mikeville abstained, since he actually went to Emporia State, but hopefully he'll still share his story in the comments.
(David): I actually planned on going to Nebraska for most of my youth. Both my parents were alums, as were many of my extended family members. In high school, the band I was in played some shows in Lawrence, and as I became more acquainted with the town, I realized how much I loved it there. A couple of guys from the band graduated and moved to Lawrence, and I started hanging out there more and more, and it just felt like the best fit for me. It didn't make sense to pay out-of-state tuition to move to Lincoln when I already felt so at home in Lawrence. I decided KU was my first choice at the beginning of my junior year and never looked back. 15 years later I couldn't be prouder to be a Jayhawk.
misterbrain: As for me, I had always decided that I wanted to go to college, ever since I was about 8 or 9. See, I was one of those nerds that loved school, and I liked telling people things, so I figured that at some point I was going to be a professor. Obviously that meant that I was going to have to go to college if I was going to teach at one. But as I continued to get closer to graduation, I started to realize just how much college was going to open up my opportunities. Being a National Merit Scholar coming out of high school, I had plenty of options as to where I wanted to go (I was actually pursued by Oklahoma, Colorado and Cornell), but ultimately decided that the mix of programs, location, and the fact that I loved rooting for their sports teams made KU the perfect place to continue my education.
So what about you?
What made you decide to continue your education? Did you attend KU, or did you choose another university? Did you pick a community college or professional certification program? We want to hear from everyone how choosing to continue your education, or even your future plans to get further education, has affected your life in a positive way.