President Barack Obama meets children at Mount Pleasant Primary School in Newport, Wales. President Barack Obama visited the school with Prime Minister David Cameron, before attending a two-day NATO summit at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport
Wales Online: Nato Summit 2014: Barack Obama And David Cameron Visit Newport’s Mount Pleasant Primary School
Hundreds of wellwishers greeted American President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron as they arrived at a primary school in Newport this morning. Mr Obama’s car was adorned with an American and Welsh flag, and he greeted the smiling youngsters of Mount Pleasant Primary School in Welsh saying “bore da” – “good morning” – and then listened to a welcome message, thanking him for being the first serving US president to visit Wales. When a smiling Mr Obama walked into a Year 6 class speaking Welsh, the pupils’ nervous chatter turned to delighted smiles.
Some onlookers had brought ladders while others stood on walls or even on the back of bikes to try to get the best view. Local resident Sally Pyrah-Barnes, 47, said the day felt like a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience. “It’s good Barack Obama took time out from the summit to acknowledge the local city and the local kids,” she said. Among the crowds gathered outside was college student Jay Singh, 16. He said: “It’s pretty surreal, Barack Obama being in Rogerstone. It’s great that he’s come here and shows Newport has plenty to offer and it’s not just about Cardiff. Mrs Green added: “We both like Obama. He seems to have his finger on the pulse.”
President Barack Obama speaks with Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron during the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor resort, near Newport, in Wales
President Barack Obama, is seated at a table with, from left to right: France’s President Francois Hollande; Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko; British Prime Minister David Cameron; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as they meet about Ukraine
Secretary of State John Kerry passes a document to President Barack Obama as British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaks at a meeting of NATO leaders regarding Afghanistan
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron bow their heads for a moment of silence for service members killed in Afghanistan
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks with President Barack Obama as they arrive for a group photo
President Barack Obama stands with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and British Prime Minister David Cameron as he arrives for a NATO summit
First Lady Michelle Obama hugs graduate Isiah Guinyard after he was presented with a Student Achievement Award during the DC College Access Program Class of 2014 graduation celebration in Washington, June 19
President Barack Obama applauds during an event in the East Room of the White House, where he signed a Presidential Memorandum on reducing the burden of student loan debt. The president said the rising costs of college have left America’s middle class feeling trapped. He says no hard-working young person in America should be priced out of a higher education. President Obama signed a presidential memorandum he says could help an additional 5 million borrowers
President Barack Obama signs a Presidential Memorandum on reducing the burden of student loan debt
Chicago Tribune: Obama Moves To Ease Student Loan Burdens, Urges Congress To Act
President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order making it easier for up to 5 million people to pay off college tuition debt, and scolded congressional Republicans for opposing legislation that would lower student-loan borrowing costs. Obama signed an executive order allowing more people to limit repayments of federal student loans to 10 percent of their monthly incomes. The action will not take effect until December 2015. The administration will also try to lower student costs by renegotiating government contracts with companies like Sallie Mae that service student loans, he said.
The president said Congress should also take steps to ease debt burdens on students, 71 percent of whom earn bachelor’s degrees with debt, which averages $29,400. Senate Democrats have proposed legislation that would allow millions of Americans to refinance both federal and private undergraduate student loans at lower interest rates. The bill is unlikely to overcome the opposition of Republicans. “If you’re a Big Oil company, they’ll go to bat for you,” he said. “If you’re a student, good luck.”
President Barack Obama holds a model used to show how polymers expand and learns how sand less sandbags that are the invention of Peyton Robertson, 12, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., work, while touring the 2014 White House Science Fair exhibits on display in the State Dining Room of the White House. Robertson designed a new kind of sandbag to protect against flooding from hurricanes and other disasters. President Obama was celebrating the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country
President Barack Obama holds up a model of a flu “bug” as he looks over the flu research display of Eric Chen, 18, of San Diego, California
President Barack Obama poses for a photo with Karen Fan, 17, and Felege Gebru, 18, both of Newton, Massachusetts.
President Barack Obama listens to Elana Simon of New York explain her project about cancer
ABC News: President Obama Unleashes His ‘Inner Nerd’ At White House Science Fair
President Obama today shined the spotlight on 100 students from 30 states whose work in science, technology and engineering he says should inspire others to excel in the field. “As a society, we have to celebrate outstanding work by young people in science at least as much as we do Super Bowl winners,” he said. Obama said this year’s White House science fair put special emphasis on “amazing girls and young women” to encourage more to pursue careers in science. “I have a confession to make. When I was growing up my science fair projects were not as successful as those here,” Obama joked.
He said he killed a bunch of plants in one project; in another, he said mice escaped in his grandmother’s apartment. Obama also got an up close look at several of the exhibits. He tried on a “concussion helmet” designed by one young lady; chatted with three 6th graders about their “app” that helps disabled kids navigate from class to class at school; and viewed a robot designed by Natick, Mass., HS students that helps with icy water search and rescue. Obama tried and tested the robot, and the kids joked that he was now certified in ice rescue. “I love this event. This is one of my favorite things all year long,” Obama later told the crowd.
President Barack Obama poses with John Moore and Lidia Wolf of Chicago after they explained their FIRST robot project
Alan Boyle: Obama Unleashes His Inner Geek (Again) At White House Science Fair
Science education went to the head of the class at the White House on Tuesday, with President Barack Obama announcing a $35 million competition for teacher training programs — and checking out an all-star lineup of science fair projects. “I love this event!” Obama told an audience of students, teachers and VIPs. “This is one of my favorite things all year long.” The president chatted with kids from more than two dozen science-fair teams as he made his way through the State Dining Room. “We’re so proud of you,” Obama told Elana Simon, an 18-year-old from New York who survived a bout with a rare liver cancer when she was 12 and developed a genetic database for patients with the same disease. “Can I just say, I did not do this at 12, 13, or 18. … This is just a sample of the kind of outstanding young talent that we’ve got.”
At one point, he lingered to play catch with a catapult that was built by a group of Massachusetts teens to study basketball shooting technique. “Last time I was here, there was a guy shooting marshmallows … that thing went fast!” Obama said, recalling a science-fair demonstration that went viral in 2012. The president looked up at the ceiling and joked, “That marshmallow might still be there.” Among this year’s announcements was the latest twist in Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign to spark interest in science careers: an additional $35 million in grants, to be awarded competitively to programs that provide preparation and training for STEM teachers. Other newly announced initiatives included: Expansion of the STEM AmeriCorps program, which was launched at last year’s White House Science Fair, to provide learning opportunities for 18,000 low-income students this summer.
Obama: "We’re putting a special focus on all the inspiring girls and young women who are excelling in science." http://t.co/1lCofhloV4
New mentoring programs in seven cities, supported by the public-private US2020 effort. The cities include Allentown, Pennsylvania; Chicago; Indianapolis; North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park; Philadelphia; San Francisco; and Wichita, Kansas. A nationwide campaign called “Aprender es Triunfar,” aimed at inspiring Latino STEM students. A centerpiece of the campaign, launched by NBC Universal’s Hispanic Enterprises and Content, is a new documentary film titled “Underwater Dreams.” A grant from Esri to make its cloud-based advanced mapping software available for free to more than 100,000 elementary, middle and high schools as part of the White House’s ConnectED Initiative. A series of interactive online lessons to help more students learn the math and science behind going to Mars, presented by Khan Academy and NASA.
First Lady Michelle Obama smiles after being introduced during Topeka Public Schools Senior Recognition Program in Topeka, Kansas
KCTV5: Michelle Obama Urges Topeka Seniors To Help Break Barriers
To mark the 60th anniversary of a landmark school desegregation decision, first lady Michelle Obama traveled to Topeka on Friday to address graduating high school seniors. First lady Michelle Obama said that young people who’ve grown up with diversity must lead a national fight against prejudice and discrimination because after six decades, the Brown v. Board of Education ruling against school segregation is “still being decided every single day.” Obama is participating in “senior recognition day,” in which she spoke to 1,000 seniors from Topeka’s public schools during an event at Landon Arena. “It’s really an honor. I’m glad to see her here,” Topeka High senior Corrie Barnes said. “We never have people really professional to come down here.” The White House noted that Topeka is home to the historic case that outlawed racial desegregation and declared education “must be made available to all on equal terms.” Her speech came the day before the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in the Brown case, which takes its title from a federal lawsuit filed by parents in Topeka.
She noted that her special assistant, Kristen Jarvis, is the grandniece of Lucinda Todd, a leader with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Topeka in the 1940s and 1950s, the first parent to sign onto the lawsuit challenging the city’s segregated schools. She said Todd, who died in 1996, is an example of people who “choose our better history.” “Every day, you have that same power to choose our better history — by opening your hearts and minds, by speaking up for what you know is right, by sharing the lessons of Brown v. Board of Education, the lessons you learned right here in Topeka, wherever you go for the rest of your lives,” Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery. Jasmine Drone was excited about the address. “My sister graduated last year and she’s like, ‘I don’t remember who spoke,’ and that was just last year. It’s an honor because I’m going to remember this,” Drone said. Lauren Sherwood, who was picked to introduce Obama, concurred, saying having a first lady in Topeka is an honor. “If anyone would overshadow my graduation, I think first lady Michelle Obama would be the person to get away with that,” Sherwood said. “So I’m perfectly content with that.”
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during Topeka Public Schools Senior Recognition Program in Topeka, Kansas
Brad Cooper: Michelle Obama Challenges Topeka Grads To Fight Inequality
Our water fountains aren’t segregated. Our movie theaters aren’t segregated. And our schools aren’t segregated. But in many ways we are still a separate-but-equal country, First Lady Michelle Obama told graduating seniors from five Topeka high schools Friday night. “Our laws may no longer separate us based on our skin color, but there’s nothing in our Constitution that says we have to eat together in the lunch room or live together in the same neighborhoods,” Obama told a full house at the 8,000-seat Kansas Expocentre. “There’s no court case against believing in stereotypes or thinking that certain kinds of hateful jokes or comments are funny. Many school districts, she said, are withdrawing efforts to integrate their students and communities are becoming less diverse as people flee cities for the suburbs. “As a result, many young people in America are going to school with kids who look just like them,” Obama said. “And too often, those schools aren’t equal, especially ones attended by students of color, which too often lag behind with crumbling classrooms and less experienced teachers.”
“Too many folks are still stopped on the street because of the color of their skin, or they’re made to feel unwelcome because of where they’re from, or they’re bullied because of who they love.” The Brown decision, she said, isn’t about the past. It’s about the future. She called on students to battle deep-seated prejudices that persist years after the civil rights movement swept across the country. “Graduates, it’s up to all of you to lead the way and drag my generation and your grandparents’ generation along with you,” she said. “When you meet folks who think they know all the answers because they’ve never heard any other viewpoints, it’s up to you to help them see thing’s differently.” Students were moved by the speech, especially Lauren Sherwood who introduced Obama on Friday night. “It’s absolutely insane. I can’t believe it just happened,” the Topeka High School student said afterward. “It will be hard for anything else in my life to top this.” Sherwood called the address “everything you could have hoped for in a graduation speech plus more.” “I had a little tear in my eye because it was just beautiful,” she said.
San Antonio’s college-going efforts got a palpable push from first lady Michelle Obama, who spoke Friday at College Signing Day at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Clad in a the t-shirt of her Princeton University alma mater, the first lady told a rowdy crowd of about 2,100 seniors from 37 area high schools at UTSA’s convocation center to look ahead to finishing the college journey they’re embarking upon. “I also want to talk to you about another big day that is on the horizon for you and that is the day you graduate from college,” Obama said. “Reaching a milestone like this means you’ve just raised the bar for yourself.” “Just getting into college isn’t the ultimate goal,” she continued. “You have got to stay focused once you get there and you’ve got to get that degree or that certificate.”
The visit by Obama took its place among her national efforts to promoting the Reach Higher Initiative, which includes helping students understand their college and career options and their financial aid legibility. The effort feeds into the president’s 2020 goal of landing the United States on top of the list of nations with the highest proportion of college graduates. Friday’s event came toward the end of the city’s fourth annual Destination College week, which culminates Saturday with a summit at San Antonio College for high school students to learn about college and scholarship applications and career pathways.
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to high school students at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA), during College Signing Day, an annual celebration of San Antonio high school seniors committing themselves to higher education, in San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and First Lady Michelle Obama greet high school students during College Signing Day
First Lady Michelle Obama leads high school students in a pledge for higher education during College Signing Day
KSAT: Michelle Obama Challenges San Antonio Students
First Lady Michelle Obama on Friday joined a growing annual celebration of San Antonio high school seniors who are committing themselves to higher education. Obama was the star attraction as some 2,100 students from 38 high schools around the area participated in “College Signing Day,” part of Mayor Julian Castro’s long-term initiative to improve the area’s high school graduation rates and increase the number of residents with college degrees. She talked about the importance of pursuing and completing some form of higher education.
“While we adults have to do our part, really at the end of the day, the most important person is you,” Obama said. Obama urged students to complete their education beyond high school. “While it’s good news that high school graduation levels are high, we know that in today’s world, it’s simply not enough,” she said. The first lady said she knows the challenges facing today’s higher education students, recalling her days at Princeton, where she attended college. “I learned that the same things that got me through high school would get me through Princeton and law school,” she said. “Those moments when you feel anxious, or insecure, those are the moments when you shape into who you want to be.”
President Obama visits with people in the crowd following the seventh annual Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride on the South Lawn of the White House, April 17, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)
One of the riders taking part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, with a President Obama bobblehead in his jersey, waits in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
See this post for more photos of the Wounded Warriors event
President Obama smiles as he announces that eight million have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act
Students cheer from their dorm room windows as they watch First Lady Michelle Obama take a tour of Howard University
First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.
On Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama and rapper-slash-actor Bow Wow joined 37 students from Chicago public high schools for a tour of Howard University, our colleague Krissah Thompson reports. According to the first lady’s office, Obama specifically requested Bow Wow for the event, an annual college visit called “Escape to the Mecca” — a nod to the university’s nickname “the mecca.” “This isn’t bad,” Obama said as she stepped inside a dorm room in Frazier Hall where one enterprising student had the perfect product placement on her desk: a portfolio and résumé.
During the sneak peek, Obama encouraged the visiting students to step in and look around too. “You might be living here. I’m just visiting,” she said. As Obama made her way through Howard’s famous quad, posing for photos with the Chicago group, female Howard students inside the dorms shouted greetings through open windows. “Hi Michelle!!!” several young women screamed, prompting more fans of the first lady to also shout hello. “Michelllllle! First lady! We love you.”
First Lady Michelle Obama obliges cheering students by showing off the hand signal the students in the quadrangle dormitory use to identify themselves, during a campus tour of Howard University with high school students
Yahoo: Michelle Obama: High School Diploma Is Not Enough
It may be a few years before the first daughters head to college, but Michelle Obama is already brainstorming a dorm room checklist while encouraging high school students to dream big about their education beyond graduation. The first lady told a group of students Thursday that a high school diploma is not enough in today’s global economy. “No longer is high school the bar. That is not enough,” Mrs. Obama told the crowd. “You have got to go to college or get some kind of professional training.”
The campus visit is a part of Mrs. Obama’s push to promote higher education, especially President Barack Obama’s “North Star” goal. By 2020, America would once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. “We have to have a hunger for education like we had when our parents and grandparents were fighting for us to have a right to come to these schools and get the education,” she said. “So now it’s up to you all to take that baton and do the very best you can with it.”