While students around the nation recognized April 26th as National College Signing Day, a group of seniors at Mississippi School of the Arts also took the opportunity to proclaim their post-secondary schools of choice. This particular event had little to do with sports, but a lot to do with academics. According to The White House web site, “The Reach Higher initiative is the First Lady’s effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.”

Students, staff, and faculty nationwide turned to Twitter and Instagram to post ‘selfies’ and group photos with their college gear. At MSA, the announcements were made in the Phoenix during lunch. Afterwards, students posted using hashtags such as #ReachHigher, #ReachHigher2020, #CollegeSigningDay, #NationalCollegeSigningDay, #BetterMakeRoom, and many more.


PHOTO: Students electing to attend four-year institutions of higher learning. Colleges/Universities include: Belhaven University, Albright College, University of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Hawaii Pacific University, Middle Tennessee University, Memphis College of Art, Shenandoah University, and University of Illinois. Note: This list does not include colleges of seniors who were not present or have not selected a post-secondary school as of April 26th.

“Signing day was sponsored by the Diversity Club. It was facilitated by secretary of the club, Keara Jones. The Diversity Club wanted to share with First Lady Michelle Obama and the nation what Mississippi has to offer, which is the best of the best.  We have shown that regardless of race, gender, or religious background, that you can dream big no matter who you are.  With over 7 million dollars in scholarship offers, MSA’s Senior class is proof of that!”, said Debra Price (school principal).

“This is the first year for MSA to start this initiative. I know it will not be big this year, but I’m hoping it will improve next year and the years to follow”, said Jones prior to the day’s events. The event turnout was better than expected for the first year. “Their challenge this year was to ‘Rise Up’!  They are rising and reaching higher!”, said Price.

More information about the Reach Higher initiative can be found by visiting


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