Reach Higher Initiative

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The First Lady, Michelle Obama, recently launched the Reach Higher initiative in an effort to encourage all students to complete some form of postsecondary education. Postsecondary education takes into account all forms of higher education, including colleges, universities, seminaries, vocational schools, trade schools, institutes of technology and all other career colleges that award professional certifications and academic degrees.

This initiative works hand-in-hand with the President’s ‘North Star’ Education Goal, which aims to put America at the top for proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020. According to the First Lady, “Education is the key to success for so many kids. And my goal specifically is to reach out directly to young people and encourage them to take charge of their futures and complete an education beyond high school.”

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, “The Rising Cost of Not Going to College,” young college graduates of the Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 1995) outperform their peers with less education on virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment. Millennial college graduates are more likely to earn more, be employed full-time and are significantly less likely to be unemployed than their less educated counterparts.

A growing number of jobs, both in Iowa and across the nation require education and/or training beyond high school.  Because of this, many states, as well as organizations within them, have embraced this initiative and are hosting events such as College Decision Day or College Signing Day to buildup excitement around the college experience to further highlight the importance of education.  It’s not just about getting to college – it’s about getting through college.

Reach Higher Pledge

I believe in myself and my future.

I commit to enroll in college.

I commit to persevere when I get there.

I commit to graduate.

And no matter what, I commit to always reach higher – for myself, my family, and my community.

Show your support for this pledge and the Reach Higher initiative by following @ReachHigher on Twitter and @ReachHigher2020 on Instagram. In addition, by using #ReachHigher when posting about ways you are helping students reach their goals of higher education, we can share ideas and stories of success! Check out for more information.

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