Salsa trumpets filled the ballroom with rhythm as Michelle Obama embraced Jennifer Lopez before taking the mic.
J.Lo introduced the First Lady and keynote speaker at Thursday’s League of United Latin American Citizens annual convention at the Hilton hotel in midtown Manhattan. Though it didn’t end there, the warmth felt on stage between the pop singer and Obama was captured in an Instagram selfie that Lopez posted on her account.
Obama addressed thousands at the luncheon and spoke about the pressing need to instill in Latino students a “hunger for education” considering their lag in college rates. The topic is not new to the First Lady who launched the Reach Higher education initiative in May to help low-income students attain college success.
“There are still too many young people in this country who aren’t getting the education they need,” Obama said during her LULAC speech, according to Fox News Latino. “Too many young people in the Latino community just aren’t fulfilling their potential.”
“We have to reignite that hunger for education,” Obama continued. “Parents have to be reading to their kids from an early age and make sure they go to school every day and do their homework every night. Our young people, you have to make education your number one priority. If you know someone who’s not planning to go on past high school, I want you to reach out to them.”
In 2013, a mini-brief by The Education Trust found that Hispanic college enrollment rates had increased 22 percent from 2009 to 2011, compared to the 2.7 percent by non-Hispanic white students. The report, however, also showed that Latino students lag behind non-Hispanic white students when it comes to college graduation rates.
At LULAC, J.Lo seemed to be in agreement with FLOTUS’ points considering the two were all smiles during their classy selfie.
Me and my girl @flotus at #LULAC National convention for the empowerment of Latinos. #represent #keynotespeaker #introingthekeynotespeaker #dreambig