About the Author: Kurtis Cooper serves as a Press and Public Diplomacy Officer for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs.
Yesterday was a big day for many students across the country — the first day back to school from summer vacation. To mark the occasion, President Obama spoke to students on the importance of taking responsibility for their education.
The remarks were carried live on C-SPAN and whitehouse.gov, and Susan Rice, our Ambassador to the United Nations, watched the speech with students of E.L. Haynes Charter School in her hometown of Washington, DC as part of the “My Education, My Future” events.
After watching the President’s remarks, Ambassador Rice gave some of her own, encouraging the students to work hard and pursue their dreams, saying, “If you work hard and do your best, there is nothing you can’t accomplish. You can be anything you want to be.”
Ambassador Rice closed the event with words reminding the students that while an education can help them achieve their own dreams, it is also about something much bigger. She asked the students to work hard so that they could go on to be the next teachers and principals, the next doctors and lawyers, the next ambassadors and even the next Presidents, so that they could help solve the future problems of their communities, their country and their world.
Watch the video above to see Ambassador Rice speak to the students of E.L. Haynes Charter School. Text follows:
“One of the important messages the President had is: If you don’t do your best, if you quit on yourself, if you quit on school, you’re not just quitting on yourself or your school, you are quitting on your country.
And that’s because we live in a world where we have so many different challenges we need every talented young person that we have to make a contribution, and to add to the greatness of our country. That’s how we went to the moon. That’s how we won World War II. That’s how we have extended opportunity to every single American. And we need each of you to carry on and do it for us when we get old.”