Story by Denise Jones/Co-Editor in chief/@DeniseJonesLBCC
Recently, I attended a Reach Higher event at the White House, in Washington, D.C., as a student journalist representing LBCC with President Eloy Oakley.
During my visit, I left an invitation for President Obama to speak at the June 9 graduation ceremony at LBCC, with Eric Waldo.
Waldo is the executive director for Reach Higher, a higher education initiative sponsored by first lady, and designed to inspire the nation’s youth and young adults to attend college.
Waldo said he would make sure the president received my letter.
By tweeting videos and photos to the official accounts @POTUS and @FLOTUS using the #Obama2lbcc hashtag enables supporters to follow and track the efforts to have Obama or the first lady speak at the gradation. Here is a copy of the letter.
Dear President Obama,
My name is Denise Jones and I am a journalism student at Long Beach City College in California. I am co-editor in chief for the Viking News, an award-winning student newspaper.
I am writing this letter on behalf of the Viking News staff, to extend an invitation to you, to speak at our school’s commencement ceremony on June 9, 2016.
We believe your presentation would add to your legacy of being perhaps the first U.S. president to speak at a Community College graduation ceremony, further demonstrating the value of a Community College education. Because you are promoting free Community College tuition nationwide, we believe the stage at Long Beach Veterans Memorial Stadium would serve as an excellent platform for your worthwhile plan.
Long Beach City College includes a student population of over 25,000 diverse people from different cultures, nationalities and many from other countries.
As a student newspaper, Viking News serves as an introduction, training and preparation for students interested in pursuing careers in journalism. The Viking has been a tradition that is deeply rooted in the community since 1927.
Our college is one of the leaders in implementing innovative educational programs and policies to help serve the best interest of the community and students. The Long Beach Promise is one of the programs.
The College Promise is a partnership between Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach City College, California State University, Long Beach and the City of Long Beach. Qualifying students from the Long Beach Unified School District receive one year of free tuition at Long Beach City College, and given priority registration for students transferring to Cal State Long Beach. So far, over 12,000 students have received free tuition through the College Promise since 2008.
An article entitled “The Long Beach Miracle” published Feb. 2, 2016, by The Atlantic features the Long Beach College Promise: theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/02/the-long-beach-miracle/459315/.
We look forward to hearing from your staff about our unique invitation.