Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting three students at Abraham Lincoln High School in Philadelphia with $1,000 college scholarships for their leadership during the Get MotivatED Challenge, a national program that supported 25 high schools across the country as they worked to improve attendance rates. The Challenge was administered by the Get Schooled Foundation and supported by AT&T, Comcast, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Viacom.

Comcast seeks to support organizations that inspire young people to lead and the Get MotivatED Challenge encouraged them to do just that. I was thrilled to present the scholarships to the outstanding students at Abraham Lincoln High School and bring them one step closer to achieving their educational goals. Congratulations to all of the students at Abraham Lincoln High School for improving attendance rates, and to the students who won scholarships:

  • Mahbuba Choudhury will attend Holy Family University next year and plans to major in biochemistry to pursue her dream of becoming a pediatric cardiologist.
  • Malcolm Robinson-Gonzalez plans to head to the Community College of Philadelphia and then join the Air Force. In four years, he has not missed one day of school.
  • Melinda Harris has turned her life around, dramatically improving her attendance and grades. She plans to major in music and education when she heads to college in the fall.

Missed attendance is one of the most significant predictors for dropping out of high school. Each year, almost one-third of all public high school students, amounting to 1.2 million kids, fail to graduate with their class. That's one student dropping out every 26 seconds. Even if only in a small way, we are happy to help improve that statistic so students can realize their full potential. It is clear that the student scholars we honored yesterday are motivated to lead and succeed.

Through the Get MotivatED Challenge, 12 students in four cities (Boston, Chicago, Nashville and Philadelphia) each received $1,000 Comcast scholarships as a reward for their leadership and for going above and beyond to motivate other students to show up every day. Comcast also granted $30,000 in scholarships to three students at the winning school of the Get MotivatED Challenge, Collins Academy in Chicago.

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in the Challenge!