Senior Official to Encourage Students to Reach Higher at Roosevelt High School Visit and Jack and Jill Empowerment Summit in New York

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Khalilah Harris, deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (Initiative), will hold a roundtable discussion with about 15 students from 9th-12th grade at Roosevelt High School on Friday, Jan. 8 in Roosevelt, New York. The discussion will be centered on access to higher education, including but not limited to, the students’ preparedness and their thoughts about opportunities to access higher education. They will also discuss completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and using tools like the College Scorecard to make the best decisions for college access.

On Saturday, Jan. 9, Harris will give remarks during an empowerment summit hosted by the Jack & Jill of Nassau County followed by two moderated panel discussions at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. The first panel will focus on youth perspectives regarding college readiness, access and success. The second panel will be a discussion with parent and community members on accelerating educational excellence for African Americans, highlighting the FAFSA completion season and the Reach Higher #BetterMakeRoom campaign.

Harris will also discuss the Initiative’s role in helping to improve and accelerate African-American students’ academic success, and the role of family and community engagement in supporting that success. In addition, she will encourage students to reach their full potential through college access and completion so that America can again become the first in the world in college completion.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative encourages 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. Harris also will discuss the Let Girls Learn White House campaign aimed at helping adolescent girls around the globe attend and complete school. These two initiatives, along with My Brother’s Keeper, are among the many initiatives the Obama Administration has launched to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality education.