High school seniors celebrate College Signing Day with first lady

Michelle Obama hosted the fifth annual event in Philadelphia.

Mike DeNardo
May 02, 2018 - 5:46 pm
The initiative is now in its fifth year with 2,000 College Signing Day events nationwide.

Mike DeNardo | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Former First Lady Michelle Obama headlined College Signing Day in Philadelphia Wednesday, a day in which high school seniors heading to college are recognized at assemblies across the nation. 

This year's main ceremony took place at Temple University alongside 7,000 local students and dozens of celebrities.

"We are depending on you. You are the future!" said actor Robert De Niro during the event.

"College was the most incredible experience of my life," added actor Bradley Cooper, "and what Bob said is true — it is up to you."

But the most raucous reception was for Obama, who said signing day shouldn't be reserved for athletes.

"We decided we needed to make going to college and getting an education as big a deal as getting a contract," she said, "because this is the investment that no one can take away from you."

College Signing Day was part of her Reach Higher initiative created during her time as first lady to encourage high schoolers to attain higher education. The initiative is now in its fifth year with 2,000 College Signing Day events nationwide.

Parkway Center City High School senior Mahiyah Harris said she was moved to hear the former first lady.

"To actually be in the same building as her is really amazing," she said. "It's inspiring that she supports our city that much that she would want to come and talk to us and support us going to college."