Tag Archives: First Lady Michelle Obama.

Astoria teen gets presidential treatment before heading to college


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Anthony Neciosup

For 17-year-old Anthony Neciosup, last week still seems surreal, as his dream to go to the White House and be in the same room as the president of the United States and the first lady became a reality.

The Astoria resident was one of about 130 college-bound students from across the country to attend first lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative “Beating the Odds Summit” at the White House on Thursday.

The daylong event focused on sharing tools, strategies and resources the students will be able to use to successfully transition to college and in the end complete their time there.

“I was really thankful for it. It was my dream to go to the White House and I finally got it,” said Neciosup, who was invited to the summit through his leadership and work with the nonprofit Global Kids. “It still hasn’t hit me.”

During the event, the students were able to listen to a panel moderated by E! News host Terrence Jenkins and featuring the first lady, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, musician Wale, and Manuel Contreras, a senior at Brown University and founder of the Inter-Ivy, First-Generation College Student Network (1vyG).

As a surprise to the students, an unexpected special guest also took the stage to welcome and speak with them – President Barack Obama.

“It was surreal. Nobody was expecting him,” Neciosup said. “I thought people were cheering really loud for [Wale] and then I saw the top of Obama’s head and I started freaking out as well.”

The students at the event, who were sponsored by 70 nonprofits, represented a mix of urban, rural, foster, homeless, special needs and under-represented youth who overcame large obstacles to get through high school and ultimately make it to college.

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One of those 70 nonprofits is Global Kids, which Neciosup joined in his sophomore year of high school after seeing their work after Superstorm Sandy.

“For over 25 years, Global Kids has been committed to helping students from underserved communities in New York City and Washington, D.C., to succeed in school, graduate and go on to college through our youth leadership and global education programs,” said Evie Hantzopoulos, Global Kids’ executive director.

Neciosup, who graduated from Long Island City High School and will be attending New York University this fall, said being invited to the summit helped boost his confidence and has made him feel more prepared to enter college.

He added that as a first-generation college student in his family, he at times felt the fear of “not belonging” at NYU, but after speaking with Contreras and receiving tips from the panelist on how to overcome that feeling, his spirits were uplifted.

“The past few days have made me feel better about going to college,” Neciosup said. “And I’m telling myself that it is possible and I can do this and one day I can be an ophthalmologist.”

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19th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day to kick off US Open with concerts, tennis programs


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Dominick Totino

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is hoping to kick off the US Open with a blast through the 19th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day event.

Tennis and musical stars will combine on Saturday to bring a day of fun activities and performances, while signaling the start of the two-week Grand Slam tournament in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Every year, Kids’ Day displays some of the music industry’s top up-and-coming performers at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Last year, Ariana Grande and Austin Mahone took part in the event, and past acts include Justin Bieber, Rihanna, the Jonas Brothers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sean Kingston, Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys.

This year country superstar Hunter Hayes, duo MKTO, girl group McClain, British pop rock band The Vamps, teen sensation Madison Beer and DJ Salerno, among others will headline the list of performers for the event.

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Besides the concerts, there will be a variety of tennis programs for kids to learn more about the game, such as lessons with professional teachers, special technology to test the speed of kids’ serves and obstacle courses to challenge agility and balance. Fans can also get autographs and watch some pros as they practice for the tournament.

“Not only is Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess a fantastic way to kick off the US Open, but it’s also a great time to encourage youth to be active, play tennis and develop healthy habits,” said USTA Executive Director and COO Gordon Smith. “This annual event continues to bring the entire family together for a fun-filled day of sports and entertainment.”

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Various celebrities and tennis stars usually host the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. First lady Michelle Obama and Serena Williams shared the stage in last year’s event. This year, actors Jeff Sutphen, China Anne McClain and fitness trainer Shaun T will host the event and US Open men’s singles No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic will make an appearance.

For more information on the event, click here.

 

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First lady Michelle Obama to attend Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of White House Press

Michelle Obama will make a grand slam appearance in Queens.

The first lady is attending the 18th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Saturday, August 24, to give a speech to encourage youngsters to get healthy and active as a part of her Let’s Move! campaign.

“We are thrilled the First Lady will be joining us at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, the largest single-day, grass-roots tennis and entertainment event in the world,” said USTA Chair Dave Haggerty. “Her message of leading a healthy lifestyle is the perfect fit for this action-packed program that celebrates the life and values of tennis legend and humanitarian Arthur Ashe.”

World No. 1 and reigning US Open women’s champion Serena Williams will introduce Obama, who will be joined by a star-studded list of performers and tennis royalty.

The all-star lineup includes UK band Lawson, Swedish DJ duo Cazzette, Coco Jones, Ariana Grande, and Austin Mahone. Players on stage will be world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and five-time US Open champion Roger Federer. The event, which kicks off the start of the US Open on August 26, looks to be a family-friendly event before the nation’s most prestigious tennis tournament begins.

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day schedule:

9:30 am
Grounds festival opens at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Free interactive games and family activities

9:30 am – 4 pm
Watch the pros practice (Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand and Court 17)

10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Hess Express Stage – free concert featuring CityKids, Lucki Gurlz, Kenton Duty, Trevor Jackson, Megan Nicole and Before You Exit.

12:00 pm
Gates Open to Arthur Ashe Stadium

1:00 pm
Stadium Show Begins – Great seats for $10 & $20

3:00 pm
Stadium Show Concludes

 

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