Rochester students take in Obama's Back to School Speech - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester students take in Obama's Back to School Speech


President Obama delivered his second annual Back to School Speech today from Philadelphia.

Obama's speech was heard by students across the country Tuesday, including these 10th graders in Susan Winter's History class at John Marshall High School. They watched the event via the internet.

President Barack Obama says, "So don't avoid new challenges. Seek them out."

Last year's speech was controversial because Obama was criticized that he tried to push a political agenda on students.

This year, his talk was merely a coaching, with a simple message: put forth effort, and you'll succeed.

President Barack Obama says, "Nobody gets to write your destiny but you. Your future is in your hands. Your life is what you make of it. And nothing, absolutely nothing, is beyond your reach."

After the speech, Winter discussed how Obama's words applied to her class.

They talked about how education isn't just students and educators, it takes a community and parents, too.

Susan Winter says, "I think that sounded to me, very reassuring that, ok, we're kind of all together in this."

They also touched on diversity - something that's increasing in our schools.

Susan Winter says, "Treat others like we'd want to be treated, sounds kind of like what we talked about on the third day of school."

And even if the messages "give your best" and the reminders to "show respect" are ones students hear in some form every new year, it's hopefully a message that sticks, or at least serves as a pep talk to have a good year.

Obama's speech was about 20 minutes long. It was given at the Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School.

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