Four students attend ‘Becoming Michelle Obama’ for free, learn valuable life lessons


Charisse Warfield

Three seniors had the opportunity to see Michelle Obama in person at her event.

Aisha Sowe, Associate Editor

Four seniors, Jessica Cruz, Andre Tulloch, Charisse Warfield and Khava Tsarni, had the opportunity to attend Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama, on November 25 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Counselors nominated several students who had a strong GPA and whom they believed best represented Watkins Mill. Each of the students selected was either part of the Achieving College Excellence Success program, Minority Scholars Program or Moco EmpowerHer. The Reach Higher Initiative by Michelle Obama paid for their tickets.

“There were several students who were nominated. We just had to filter it down to include four” college and career information coordinator Kate Heald said. Cruz and Warfield received their tickets from ACES, while Tulloch received his from MSP co-county coordinator Michael Williams. Tsarni received her ticket from Moco EmpowerHer.   

“I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Cruz said. “I learned that you can achieve anything you want when you put your mind to it.  Her words will definitely stick with me.”

The purpose of the event was not only for Obama to promote her book, but to give a message to women that whatever background they come from, they can achieve anything. “I think it was a really good opportunity for students to see firsthand Michelle Obama’s experience on how she got where she is,” ACES Academic Coach Tiffany Shaw said.

Warfield particularly enjoyed when Obama was “talking about her childhood and home life. I personally related to it because…he was an overly important figure in her life and he encouraged her to do well in school.  That part almost made me cry,” Warfield said.

Obama said that while she was going through her education, she wanted to be a box checker, meaning she wanted to follow everything by the rules, making sure everything was done correctly. But then she realized that what she wanted to be is not what life is about. “Many students are looking for that flash of something new,” Tulloch said.

Obama also wanted young people to understand that they have an obligation to come out of their comfort zones and challenge themselves outside of the things they know. “Seeing how a young girl who is first generation can get into law school and college on her own and end up end up in the White House is impressive,” Heald added.

“I think [Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama] is going to help me with college and choosing where I want to go,” Tulloch added.

“Read the book,” Warfield added.  “It’s really inspirational.  She doesn’t just talk about being the First Lady, she talks about her life and you see that she’s a normal person too.”

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