(NBC) The First Lady’s “Reach Higher” initiative aims to get students to, and through, education after high school.
She unveiled a new resource at the White House today- the website BetterMakeRoom.org
Students ages 14-19 will find information on the nitty gritty- like signing up for SAT and ACT exams, filling out federal financial aid forms and visiting college campuses.
There will be reminders and guidance along the way – this goal is to walk students through every step in the process.
There’s also a place to share stories about their goals and progress and what’s inspiring them to go reach higher.
All aimed at “Generation Z”, a group the first lady is very familiar with.
She calls this program unlike anything the white house has done before.
“We want to create a space where young people can engage with each other. Where they can inspire each other to complete their education beyond high school…We want to make room for their stories for their dreams their achievements….Because the truth is right now that space really doesn’t exist in our popular culture…Instead these days so much of our national conversation is focused on celebrities and their stories – their breakups and hairstyles, the tweets they send the points they score.
Through this new campaign young people can go to BetterMakeRoom.org or they can go to Vine,Twitter, Instagram using the hashtag bettermakeroom. I’m getting used to that- the hashtag- just throw that it in there and impress my kids…And they can share their goals for college and for life with kids all across this country. This is exactly what this technology was meant to do- the good stuff.”
She also spoke on “Generation Z” and how this new campaign is catered for them, “so for those young people traditional campaigns don’t always work. We can’t just tape a public service announcement telling them that school is cool…If we truly want to engage this generation in a conversation about higher education we need to give them a space where they can drive that conversation themselves. They interact with the world in fundamentally different ways than generations before them and I’m someone who lives with two generation Z-ers and I’m experiencing this first hand. As I’m sure many of you are too.”
And although she’s helping launch the site, Ms. Obama admits she isn’t quite sure about the full workings of the social media world that younger generations are fully submersed in, “the truth is I probably won’t understand everything that we’re doing with this campaign, and neither will many of you. But that’s ok. We’re old. This campaign isn’t for us and it is not about us. It is for and about our next generation. I am excited to see everything that we’re gonna create together through Better Make Room. Even if I have to ask my daughters to explain it to me.”