Michelle Obama “I’m First” Storytelling Project for 1st Generation College Students

Michelle Obama recently released a special video message speaking about being the first in her family to attend college. In the video, Michelle says, “no matter where you come from or how much money your family has, I want you to know that you can succeed in college, and get your degree, and then go on to build an incredible life for yourself.” This video is part of the “I’m First”storytelling project, which lifts up the stories of first generation college students in order to inspire future generations. New Look’s peer led programs in Atlanta, New York, Milwaukee and Detroit are working hard to create this same impact. Here’s how!

  1. The New Look model encourages youth to discover what their passions are in middle school through our Powered by Service training.

  2. Next, in high school, youth enter the New Look Leadership Academy, where we guide them to achieve academic excellence and provide them with the resources and knowledge they need to apply for college and scholarships.

  3. After high school, New Look youth enter the Moguls in Training Program (MITs), where we help them unite their focus of talent with a defined career path to explore in college by connecting them with mentorship opportunities, job shadows and internships.

  4. Once graduated, these New Look alumni return to serve and inspire their younger peers through our unique, cyclical peer-to-peer model– thus, paving the way for more under-served youth to graduate from college.

Here are some testimonies from a few of our first generation students about how New Look has prepared them to graduate from college!

Angellic Graduation

   “Usher’s New Look has been extremely helpful in my path to college. Through the program, I was able to find out what I liked doing and what I was good at, which helped me with choosing my major. Even at Northwestern, the program has helped me choose the right classes, realize the resources on campus, and showed me other tools I need to be successful in and out of the classroom. I will be the first one in my family to stay and graduate from college!” -Angellic Ross, Northwestern MIT

Myles College Opportunity

“New Look helped guide me to College Opportunity by providing me with many opportunities to meet, interact with, and learn from so many talented, gifted people who ultimately showed me how the real world works.” -Myles Harlan, Vanderbilt MIT

Kam Graduation

 “Usher’s New Look helped guide me on my path to college by surrounding me with successful college students who I could relate to. Through them, I learned the dos and don’ts of the application process, different avenues of finding funding for college that aren’t much talked about and how to transition smoothly from high school to the collegiate level.” -Kamera Cobb, GSU MIT