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. On May 1, “College Signing Day,” institutions across the country will be encouraged to share welcome messages with new students on social media. Learn more about the Reach Higher initiative as host Chris D’Orso speaks with the program’s executive director Eric Waldo.
Eric is former Deputy Chief of Staff at the Department of Education and current Executive Director at Reach Higher. Eric is a passionate advocate and leader for transformational education reform because of what it can do to cure poverty, change lives, and fundamentally improve communities. A senior policy, political, communications, and operations professional, as well as a former classroom teacher, Waldo thrives leading in fast-paced, high-stakes, entrepreneurial environments.
As Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, Waldo is working to inspire every student in the U.S. to take charge of their future by completing their post-secondary education, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a 2-year or 4-year college or university. His role cuts across policy, advocacy, and community engagement to further the President’s North Star goal—that by 2020, the U.S. once again leads the world in terms of college graduates.