As I exited the MARTA train and took the escalator up to the street level of the MidTown Station, I am getting more and more excited about getting to hear President Barack Obama. Minutes later, I get off the bus and walk and wait, wait and walk in the long line eager and anxious to get inside GA Tech’s McCamish Pavilion.
Once inside, the Paviilion, the mood of the 8,000 plus attendeess was electric. As I scanned the crowd, I see lots elected officials, friends and others positively anticipating President Obama’s arrival.
After being introduced by a GA Tech Junior, Aerospace Engineering major, the President greets the crowd with energy and confidence. His remarks outline his plan for free two year community college for everyone across the country. The plan includes removing the middle man from the student loan process, making the payment affordable not to exceed 10% of your income, requiring the lender clearly explain terms render good customer service. A few select professions like Social Workers will have a portion of their loans forgiven. “Michelle and I had to pay student loans even as they began to start their family. We know what its like because our families did not have the means to pay our college.”
He explained he was here at GA Tech because is one of the most affordable schools in Georgia and the country. That is why he is here instead of at an expensive school explaining his plan for an affordable education.
President Obama explained that free two year community college that allows credits to transfer to four year college is good for training residents. It will give them skills that allow them to make living wages to better take care of their families.
The President challenged: 1) Congress to implement this by June, 2015, 2) GA Tech students and other young people to continue to be innovative, work hard and get involved in their communities, 3) to call Congress to get them to implement/pass his education plan that includes free two year Community College for all Americans.
The speech energizedthe crowd. As with most, I left GA Tech inspired and filled with hope.