Michelle Obama’s Latest Project? A Reality Series About First-Generation College Students

by Joline Faujour

On January 7, Michelle Obama announced that she’s launching an Instagram IGTV reality series called A Year of Firsts that’s set to debut later this month. The series will follow four first-generation college students, Robert, Linette, Regan, and Haseeb, who hail from Washington, D.C., California, Alabama, and North Dakota. These college students are navigating their freshman year, and with Obama’s support through her organization Reach Higher, they will share their stories in the series. 



Obama founded Reach Higher when she was First Lady because she was a first generation college student herself. The organization aims to help students get into college and to support them throughout their educational experience. As a first-generation college student, she said in a statement that she’s proud of the students and that, in “sharing their stories, they’re helping others see that the ups and downs of the first year of college are something everyone goes through — and they’re creating a supportive community for others facing similar challenges.” Obama said that she “had to learn the ins and outs of entering higher education”, and that she knows “how intimidating it can be to take that leap and pursue your educational dreams.”

The series is going to be shown documentary-style. In the trailer, the students introduce themselves and share what they’re hoping for and how they’re looking to inspire others.

The series is being produced by ATTN:. The company’s co-founder, Matthew Segal, wrote in the ATTN: blog that as “Mrs. Obama highlights in each episode, there are many hidden challenges to making it through college […] the series will meet many students where they live—on Instagram—and share candid perspectives about how to overcome barriers. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Mrs. Obama and Reach Higher to engage and inspire students to invest in themselves through higher education.”

The series will run through June with six episodes total. Obama may have been dubbed 2019’s most admired woman, but she’s already inspiring countless pepole in 2020, too.

Top photo via Flickr/Gage Skidmore

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