Last Wednesday May 3rd was a big day for many students and schools around the country as over 2000 communities hosted College Signing Day events celebrating their graduating seniors. Launched with just a handful of ceremonies five years ago by Barack and Michelle Obama through Better Make Room and Reach Higher, College Signing Day has since exploded, attracting major star power from the entertainment industry, sports, government, philanthropy, and more.

This year Michelle Obama gave the keynote in Philadelphia, telling the 8000 high school seniors in attendance at Temple University’s Liacouras Center to “ignore the haters” and commit themselves to getting their degrees. Others, from Super Bowl winner Malcolm Jenkins to R&B sensation Ciara, echoed these sentiments, encouraging students to be resilient, not be afraid to ask for help, and believe in themselves. Homegrown Philadelphian artist Questlove of The Roots encouraged students to push outside of their comfort zones, form diverse friend groups, and take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to challenge themselves intellectually.

While the atmosphere in the arena was definitely mega pep rally like, Mrs. Obama remarked that for her, College Signing Day was more important than sports drafts because “this is about the future of our nation and the world.” For all of you heading off to college next year, remember that there are many people – including those in some very high places – who are rooting for your success. Kelly Rowland was introduced at the event in Philadelphia with a few lines from the Destiny Child’s classic “Say My Name.” She later said, “No, I need to know your names in a few years when you are out here doing all the amazing things that you are going to do.”

So take the time today to celebrate making a commitment to your future!  #CollegeSigningDay

Photo Credits: Better Make Room and Rex Shutterstock