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Michelle Obama Encourages First-Generation College Students: ‘There Are So Many People Who Believe In You’

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Michelle Obama offered support and words of encouragement for first-generation college students headed to school this fall.

As a part of Good Morning America‘s “First Gen” series, the former First Lady drew on her own experience as a first-generation student to express the excitement she has for these students and their families.

“I am so proud of you because as a first-generation college graduate myself, I know it isn’t easy to get to this point,” Obama said. “I want you to know that Barack and I are proud of all of you and we can’t wait to see everything you go on to achieve.”

Obama then shared the challenges and triumphs she encountered when she began college at Princeton University, urging them to be “brave” because “there are so many people who believe in you.”

“These years are a precious opportunity to discover who you are and what you love doing, so be brave,” she said. “Take some risks. Make some mistakes, and then learn from them.”

Watch the full clip below.


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Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com