First lady Michelle Obama offered advice she hoped would help area high school students decide to pursue higher education and to excel in the future during a visit Tuesday at .
"You have to invest 100 percent in every single thing you do," said the first lady to students in the Riggs Library in Healy Hall at Georgetown University.
The students were from Anacostia High School, Wheaton High School and the White House Leadership and Mentoring Initiative, composed of students from the District, Md. and Va. high schools.
She reminded students that she came from humble beginnings in a family where neither of her parents were college-educated and there was not much in the way of extra money or resources. Upon arriving at Princeton, Obama said she doubted whether she could fit in and compete. But she said she decided not to let her doubts rule her.
"No one is born successful. There are people who were born lucky, but no one is born successful," she said.
Successful people are those who "bought into their own idea that they were worthy of something" she explained.
Students asked a range of questions, wondering what majors they should consider and what they need to know once they are in college.
Iris Ucanay, a junior at Wheaton HS, asked how parents who cannot necessarily be available for meetings at school can still be engaged in the college application process. The first lady called the application process a student's "gateway to maturity” and told Ucanay that she was the best person to make sure her parents were informed.
Throughout the event, Obama encouraged students to take matters into their own hands and to do the work needed to accomplish the goals they set for themselves.
Adriana Carmona, a Wheaton HS senior, asked Obama about making the transition into a college life and how to overcome worries about missing home.
"Don’t let fear guide you," she advised.
The first lady told Carmona that it is important to make the decision that was best for her, but not to base it on fear.
"Everything that I have done up until this date has pushed me," said Obama.
The high school students were paired with college mentors and took campus tours, visited classes and learn first-hand about the transition from high school to college throughout the day.
After the Q&A the first lady walked through the room, hugging each student and snapping pictures with many of them.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Adriana Carmona's year in high school. We regret the error.