Obama to American kids: Get ready to compete with Beijing, Mumbai

"We live in a new world" he told new graduates of a high school in Memphis, Tennessee, warning that when they leave college in four years, they'll be competing for jobs not just against Americans but with the youths in Beijing and Mumbai.

"You're competing against young people in Beijing and Mumbai.  That's some tough competition," he said. "Those kids are hungry.  They're working hard.  And you'll need to be prepared for it."

Education is not only essential to getting a good job, Obama said, it also provides other essential skills, including critical thinking, discipline, and simply being a better person.

Recalling his own childhood, Obama said: "My father left my family when I was 2 years old. And I was raised by a single mom-sometimes she struggled to provide for me and my sister."

"But," he added, "my mother and my grandparents pushed me to excel. ... They kept pushing me, especially on those rare occasions where I'd slack off or get into trouble. ... I'm so blessed that they kept pushing."

"Education made all the difference in my life," the president said, adding that the same applied to first lady Michelle Obama.

Reviving his 2008 campaign slogan he told the boisterous students: "We are here today because every single one of you stood up and said, 'Yes, we can.' Yes, we can learn. Yes, we can succeed."

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)