UPDATE: The deadline for the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge has been extended to March 11, 2011. This post has been updated to reflect that change. Apply now!
Ed. Note: The Race to the Top Commencement Challenge is back! Applications for the 2011 Commencement Challenge are open until March 11. To learn more about the Commencement Challenge and submit your application visit WhiteHouse.gov/Commencement.
Every wondered what would happen if the President of the United States walked into an auditorium full of unsuspecting high school seniors?
That’s exactly what happened on June 7, 2010 when President Obama surprised the graduating class at Kalamazoo Central High School, the winners of the 2010 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.
Last year, President Obama delivered the commencement address at Kalamazoo Central High School and he could deliver the commencement address at your school this year – but only if you apply before March 11, 2011.
The Principal of Kalamazoo Central High School, Von Washington, described the experience of competing in – and winning – the 2010 Commencement Challenge this way:
How do you begin to describe what shaking the hand of the President of the United States at your high school graduation means to a student? Every one of our students, and everyone within our community was changed by this once in a lifetime event.
The process of competing was great. Our students came together to show the country what Kalamazoo Central and Kalamazoo Public Schools are all about. The pride in their hard work, and the validation of their efforts, could catapult these students to new heights as they move into and beyond their college years. President Barack Obama's visit lifted our entire community on that evening, and we have yet to lose that altitude.
We’re asking public high schools from across the country to demonstrate how their school best prepares them for college and a career, helping America win the future by out-educating our competitors and achieving President Obama’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.
If you’d like President Obama to make an appearance at your graduation, be sure to check out WhiteHouse.gov/Commencement and submit your application today!