“The people we admire in our society today are athletes, singers, reality stars. You don’t see teachers an doctors and lawyers revered in the same way,” Obama said. “So, naturally, kids gravitate to what they think is cool. But one of the things I’ve tried to tell my girls, and try to tell all the children I talk to, is that there is nothing cooler than having a good education. Education is going to open the doors to the opportunities that are going to give you the freedom later on in life to make really cool choices – like having a good job, being able to own a home, being able to take vacations and travel the world. That’s what being cool is.”
Obama also appears on the cover of Essence. The interview with the first lady is accompanied by a special report on education in America. Obama is promoting a new initiative encouraging post-high school education called Reach Higher.