Obama makes surprise visit to a Chicago 8th grade graduation ceremony. Pool report

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After Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) held an event about credit cards at the Illinois Institute of Technology on Wednesday, he made a surprise visit to the 8th grade graduation ceremonies at the Young Women's
Leadership Charter School of Chicago. Click for the pool report from the Chicago Tribune's John McCormick.


TIME: 12:30pm CT
EVENT: Obama Makes a Surprise Visit to 8th Grade Graduation (Chicago,
Illinois)


POOL REPORT from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago (June 11,
2008):

After his credit card and predatory lending round-table discussion, Sen.
Obama stopped across the hall and entered McCormick Auditorium at the
Illinois Institute of Technology, where an 8th grade graduation ceremony
was underway.

The room erupted in cheers and screams as he entered to give an
impromptu, four-minute speech to graduates of the Young Women's
Leadership Charter School of Chicago.

After several dozen people rushed the stage to snap photos, Obama got
down to the business of trying to inspire.

He reminded the roughly 50 graduates (there were several hundred
relatives and friends as well) that they better hit the books because
they will be competing against "people in China and India and all across
the world."

Below is the bulk of his talk to the young women:

"Don't just settle for the mediocre because all of you have
extraordinary talent, all of you are going to be leaders in the future,
but only if you put out the effort. I'm proud that you graduated from
eighth grade, but it's just eighth grade. After you're done celebrating,
I want every young woman to be thinking about this summer how you going
to start hitting the books early? How are you going to start getting a
leg up on high school? What books are you going to read, instead of
watching TV? What kinds of new knowledge can you gain, because I want
what you to be doing every single minute of every single day is thinking
about how can I make myself the best possible young woman that I can be?
I want you to dream big dreams. Don't just settle for small dreams,
because I know if you dream big dreams, there's nothing you can't
accomplish. I'm proud of you. God bless you."

As he left the stage, Obama shook a few hands and the graduation
ceremony returned to its earlier activities.

Catherine Garth, who lives in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, was
there to see the graduation of her granddaughter, Shanara Garth.

"It was fantastic and a very pleasant surprise," she said of Obama's
visit. "I think he's the greatest thing since candy."

-- John McCormick, Chicago Tribune

5 Comments

These people will remember for the rest of their lives the day the soon-to-be President of the United States strolled on to their graduation stage. Very cool, and great move by Obama.

A pleasant acknowledgement that Senator Obama took time to drop in and promote the
young girl's accomplishments, and let them know each can achieve the profession
they presently dream of doing with hard work. Imagine thirty or forty years from now the memories
each will have when reviewing those pictures; especially if Mr. Obama becomes president and each
young woman acheive their dream(s) as well.

....PRICELE$$$$$....

HE'S A CLASS ACT, HE DIDN'T HAVE TO BOTHER, BUT HE MADE THESE KIDS
FEEL LIKE THEY JUST GRADUATED FROM HARVARD LAW, BARACK OBAMA IS
FOR THE MAN WHO IS HAVING TROUBLE PUTTING GAS IN THE CAR, HE IS
FOR THE TRUCKER WHO CAN BARELY DRIVE HIS TRUCK, BARACK OBAMA WILL
MAKE AN EXCELLENT PRESIDENT, BECAUSE HE CARES!
AMERICA THIS IS OUR TIME!

i do not care what anyone says about senator obama he is just great and this is just the kind of guy he is instead of always looking for the bad go back and find the good

Thank you Senator Obama. By taking the time to inspire these young ladies, you will inspire many more. Word of mouth is more then what is read or seen on TV. You have a difficult road ahead. Continue to do what you are doing and you will get there.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 11, 2008 2:31 PM.

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