Fwd: Pool Report #2: FLOTUS event at Howard U

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Brown, Emma" >
Date: September 1, 2016 at 1:26:26 PM EDT
To: "Vrazilek, Lauren S. EOP/WHO" >
Cc: "Morales, Caroline A. EOP/WHO" >, "Rosholm, Joanna S. EOP/WHO" >, "Donohue, Kelsey A. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Pool Report #2: FLOTUS event at Howard U

FLOTUS answered students' questions for a little over 20 minutes, offering advice on succeeding in college and beyond.

"College was the most important thing I've done in my life, other than being First Lady, having kids and marrying Barack Obama," she said to laughter. "It taught me I could leave home and be successful away from home."

She told students to be confident in their abilities and to seize opportunities to meet other people and try new things.

"Step out of your comfort zones and soar, alright?"

Seth Meyers asked Nick Cannon why he had bothered to come back to school, given that he is in his 30s and already has a successful career.

"I'm not here for a degree," Cannon said. "I'm here because I have a real thirst for knowledge." Students snapped their fingers in enthusiastic agreement.

And why Howard?

"This is the Mecca," Cannon said to cheers. "HU!" He yelled. "You know!" the students called back.

FLOTUS said Cannon should serve as living proof to the other students in the room that they have enough time to get everything done that they need to get done. "You can do this," she said.

Cannon, dressed in an orange dashiki, took a mic into the audience so students could ask questions of the First Lady. They asked what she was like in college ("kinda silly," she said, but also took her studies seriously) and what she would change about her first year in college.

"I probably would have tried more things," she said. "I would have taken more risks."

Students also asked what FLOTUS and Meyers learned about themselves during their freshman year.

"I learned a lot about hygiene," Meyers said. "I was not a jackpot roommate."

"It taught me I can do anything," FLOTUS said. She recalled that when she went to Princeton, people told her she was shooting too high. But when she arrived, she realized she could hold her own - and that's a strength she still draws on. "I still carry that with me as First Lady of the United States because there are people who think I shouldn't be doing that either, and it's been eight years," she said.

She advised students to choose a major they are passionate about studying and to look for internship opportunities. She said her personal assistants are all former White House interns who stood out. "My life is controlled by 20-something-year-olds," she said. "It's really annoying."

Asked how to de-stress constructively, she advised hanging out with friends and laughing. "Laughter is a huge de-stressor, so make sure you get that in," she said.

"One of the places to get that laughter is Late Night with Seth Meyers," Meyers said.

And the students laughed.

FLOTUS was answering a question about the importance of resilience when pool was ushered out at 12:52.

"The people who are successful are not the people who succeed All the time. It's the people who can recover when they fail." she said.

Outside the building, dozens of Howard students and a clutch of middle-schoolers from a nearby charter school had gathered, waiting for a glimpse of the First Lady.

FLOTUS continued answering questions; pool rolled out at 1:19. See transcript to follow for full remarks.

Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 1, 2016, at 12:41 PM, Brown, Emma > wrote:

FLOTUS motorcade started rolling from the White House at 11:03 on a morning of on-and-off drizzle in DC.

Stopped in traffic at 7th and T streets NW, an elderly man blew kisses at the motorcade. Arrived Howard University at 11:21. Entered empty auditorium at Howard's school of business building, where students were lined up in a hallway awaiting the event. On stage are three directors' chairs emblazoned with the logo of Late Night with Seth Meyers.

At 11:27, students -- most of them dressed in business suits -- or began filing into the auditorium. A staffer removed one chair from the stage.

At 12:15, the Howard U provost introduced Amber Ruffin, the first African American female to write for a network late night show. She told the students they would hear from Nick Cannon and Seth Meyers, and that they must turn off their phones, an announcement greeted with gasps and groans.

"Congratulations on making it to Howard!" Ruffin told the crowd. "Your parents must be telling everyone with ears."

Ruffin killed time asking students where they are from and what they do in their free time. Several students said they own their own businesses, including a personal development coach, a custom shirt designer,  a painter and owner of an online vintage boutique.

"That's fantastic," Ruffin said. "Are you guys ready to get this started?"

At 12:28: The students applauded as Seth Meyers took the stage. He introduced new freshman Nick Cannon, and then said he wanted to bring out one more guest.

"Everyone give it up for the First Lady," Meyers said.

The students leapt to their feet screaming, giving Mrs. Obama an extended standing ovation.

FLOTUS sat between the two men in a striped white and purple dress.

Michelle Obama is paying a visit Thursday morning to the District's Howard University, where she is surprising students as part of her last back-to-school season as First Lady.

She is appearing along with Seth Meyers, the host of NBC's Late Night, and television personality Nick Cannon, who recently enrolled at Howard, according to the White House.

The trio are taking questions from nearly 250 Howard freshmen in an auditorium on campus. The First Lady and Meyers are expected to offer advice to students for a segment that will air next week on Late Night.

The visit is part of the First Lady's "Reach Higher" initiative, urging students to go to and complete college, and her "Better Make Room" campaign to connect with students via social media. For previous "Better Make Room" events, Michelle Obama rapped with comedian Jay Pharaoh about going to college and talked with basketball star LeBron James about why he cares about education.

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