Fifteen Future 5 Students Attend Michelle Obama’s College Signing Day

Fifteen students from Future 5, a Stamford-based nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income high school students in Stamford, CT graduate and connect to a better and sustainable education and career path, were recently invited by Stamford Dollars for Scholars to attend First Lady Michelle Obama’s College Signing Day at the Harlem Armory in New York City.

Future 5 students gather at the Stamford train station to head to Harlem for Michelle Obama's College Signing Day Event! First row L-R: Polly Perkins Johnson, Susana Cevallos, Carolina Amigo, Aracely Barreto, Emilly Hernandez, Kirsten Melgar, Gilmar Barrios, and Katherine Martinez Back row L-R: Kathleen Charles, Glendy Pinto, Ricardo Vivar, Adrian Lamothe, Nii Pobee, Oscar Morales, Samuel Saturne, Edgar Oliva

Future 5 students gather at the Stamford train station to head to Harlem for Michelle Obama’s College Signing Day Event! First row L-R: Polly Perkins Johnson, Susana Cevallos, Carolina Amigo, Aracely Barreto, Emilly Hernandez, Kirsten Melgar, Gilmar Barrios, and Katherine Martinez Back row L-R: Kathleen Charles, Glendy Pinto, Ricardo Vivar, Adrian Lamothe, Nii Pobee, Oscar Morales, Samuel Saturne, Edgar Oliva

As part of her Reach Higher Initiative, the First Lady hosted the third annual College Signing Day event to celebrate high school seniors choosing to pursue higher education at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.

“This was a life-changing event for many of our students and we could not be more excited or more proud!” said Future 5 board chairman Polly Perkins Johnson. “Future 5 has 40 seniors graduating from high school this spring and many of them will be the first in their family to attend college. We are so glad that Michelle Obama is celebrating this milestone with our students and appreciate that she has put such an emphasis on the importance of a college education,” added Ellen Berube, Future 5 director of students.

College Signing Day continues the First Lady’s efforts to inspire young people to pursue their education past high school. More than 4,000 students from across New York high schools attended the event. This event was hosted by MTV in conjunction with Viacom’s Get Schooled initiative.

Future 5 seniors wait in line to listen to First Lady Michelle Obama address 4,000 seniors during her College Signing Day event. L-R: Oscar Morales, Adrian Lamothe, Gilmar Barrios, Edgar Oliva

Future 5 seniors wait in line to listen to First Lady Michelle Obama address 4,000 seniors during her College Signing Day event. L-R: Oscar Morales, Adrian Lamothe, Gilmar Barrios, Edgar Oliva

Katherine Martinez attending Westhill High School said, “It was really cool to see all different celebrities and hear about how going to college changed their lives.” Martinez will be attending Providence College in the fall. Nii Pobee attending Stamford High School shared, “She gave genuine advice on how to be successful in college and to go after every opportunity no matter which college you attend.” Pobee will be starting at UConn Stamford this fall. And, Ricardo Vivar also attending Stamford High School added, “The event made me even more excited to attend college in the fall. We were surrounded by 4,000 other high school seniors who will be starting at new schools and it was nice to be a part of that.” Ricardo will be a part of the Honors Program at Southern Connecticut State University.

Future 5 students traveled to the New York event with Future 5’s chairman Polly Perkins Johnson, director of students Ellen Berube, student advocate & business administration assistant Raul Olivia, and co-Director of Future 5’s College Prep Debbie Eagan.

Founded in 2009, Future 5 has served over 400 students and has a 98% high school graduation rate. For the 2015-2016 school year, Future 5 expects to serve approximately 150 students. If you are interested in learning more about Future 5 or volunteering to work with their high school student members, contact at 203-358-8787.