First Lady Speaks at DC Charter School Graduation

Michelle Obama tells charter school graduates not to worry

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas isn't the only D.C. celebrity getting in on the high school commencement action. First lady Michelle Obama offered this advice to students doubting if they're ready for the future: "Don't worry."

She delivered the commencement address to Washington's Math, Science, and Technology Public Charter High School at Howard University Wednesday thanks to an invitation from graduate Jasmine Williams.

Mrs. Obama told 98 graduates that before going off to Princeton University she worried about whether she was ready and would fit in.

She also mentioned Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic considered for the nation's highest court. Sotomayor attended Princeton before Mrs. Obama and has said that she felt intimidated by her surroundings.

In the end, Mrs. Obama said she, her husband Barack Obama and Sotomayor all were ready for the challenge. And she told the graduates they are more than ready as well.

"Graduates of 2009, with a solid education, foundation and firm hold of your dreams, and with the support of your families and a willingness to work hard, I can assure you you're more than ready," the first lady said. "So get to work and congratulations."

The first lady said she wanted to speak at a school in her new hometown and she wanted to speak at a school she believed in. Jasmine's sealed the deal, though.

With no fear of the word "no," Jasmine sent the invitation in February, and within a month, the White House replied with Mrs. Obama's acceptance.

"It was a combination of joy and fear 'cause I knew I would be introducing her, so I was really, really happy," said Jasmine, 18. "I didn't believe it."

Jasmine, who grew up surrounded by almost nightly gunfire in Sursum Corda, credited faith and family with getting her to graduation day. She plans to attend North Carolina A&T in the fall.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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