College Signing Day is an event held on May 1, 2019 at the University of California Los Angeles in the Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion. In celebration for senior and transfer students who are ready to embark on a new journey. Whether it is registering to a four year college or university, community college, joining the marines or army force or a professional training program. The event is co-sponsored by The University of California and in partnership with Reach Higher, the college access initiative launched by former first lady Michelle Obama during her time at the White House. College Signing Day honors students for taking charge of their futures by pursuing education past high school.
Since the event is invite only, Green Dot schools got 15 tickets for each high school to choose their lucky 15 senior students. In order to get picked students had to submit a response and the first 15 people to submit a response got picked. Students had to respond to the questions like how they were feeling about going to college, why they wanted to attend the event and how was the experience going to shape their experience for college. Luckily, I was one of the few who got to attend the event, and I was very excited as I did not know what to expect.
Roughly 10,000 high school seniors and transfer students attended on Wednesday’s event at Pauley Pavilion. As students walked onto the UCLA campus they stepped foot into the field, which was decorated with the bright blue and yellow colors. Students from all the way up north of California to across the east came in gear with the college, university, or armed force they were joining. Then, as students entered the Pauley Pavilion they were greeted with a sheet from the Ucla students and with bags filled with snacks and a big water bottle and some college resource papers. After that we received our assigned ticket seat and escorted to our seats.
As we waited for Michelle Obama to come out there was performances by the clubs of the University. For example, “folkloric dance” in Spanish Baile folklórico, martial arts/jiu-jitsu, hip-hop, and many more dances. After that, the Ucla band along with the cheerleaders did their opening to introduce the long awaited celebrity stars that included Usher, Don Cheadle, Bebe Rexha, Patton Oswalt, Elizabeth Banks, Kelly Rowland, Lea Michele, Nina Dobrev, Eva Longoria and Conan O’Brien and many more.
Finally, after celebrities came out and did giveaways, the University of California President Janet Napolitano came out and gave some words of encouragement for everyone beginning a new step in their lives. Soon after, late night host Conan
O;Brian came out said he had the most important job to do as he was going to bring out Michelle Obama. Then Michelle Obama came out with a shirt that said “Compton College” that she later gave recognition for their hard work prospering into a college with resources for the community. Then she was explaining that she started the campaign in response to her own experiences, saying she never received encouragement from school counselors or others to strive for higher education. But she went on to graduate from Princeton University and Harvard Law School.
Then, students were brought up on stage to meet Michelle Obama and tell their stories from where they come from and what the next steps of their lives are going to be like in college.
Overall, College Signing Day was a great experience because at the start I was thinking about how nervous I was going to feel about attending a university 5 hours away from home. But then, throughout the event, the way students were expressing their journey in which they felt nervous but excited, made me feel even more excited to go to college.