Jill Biden to L.A. college grads: ‘Never forget your path’

Jun 7, 2022, 8:26 PM | Updated: 9:06 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden urged graduates of a Los Angeles community college on Tuesday to “never forget where you came from,” saying they can learn from their past without being defined by it.

The first lady, a community college English professor, singled out a few Los Angeles City College graduates in her brief remarks, including a 46-year-old woman who realized a childhood dream of becoming a teacher after losing her 25-year career as a graphic designer during the pandemic.

She also told the stories of a woman from the Ivory Coast who went into labor with her third child during her final exam, but still completed her test, and of the U.S. Marine diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a tour in Afghanistan but found treatment and enrolled at LACC.

In her first address of the 2022 commencement season, Biden told the more than 1,000 graduates that “you astonish me with your grit and your determination and that is why I love teaching community college.”

As first lady, she continues to teach at Northern Virginia Community College, where she has taught since 2009.

“My charge to you is this: Never forget your path, the people who brought you here, or the lessons you’ve realized along the way,” she said. “Never forget where you came from. It doesn’t have to define you, but it will always have something to teach you.”

“Never forget what made you who you are, and then you will be ready for wherever you choose to go next,” she said.

Biden visited Los Angeles City College in 2016 to announce the start of the Los Angeles College Promise Program, which offers free tuition for all new, full-time students at the Los Angeles Community College District, including LACC, according to the school’s website.

Biden and her husband, President Joe Biden, pushed last year for a nationwide program that would provide two years of free community college, but Congress rejected the idea.

The first lady was in Los Angeles to help host, with President Biden, the Summit of the Americas, a gathering of leaders of democracies in the Western Hemisphere.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Gabby Petito's mother Nichole Schmidt, wipes a tear from her face during a news conference o...

Associated Press

Mother of man who killed Gabby Petito said in letter she would help son ‘dispose of a body’

The mother of the man who killed Gabby Petito told her son in an undated letter that she would “dispose of a body” if needed because she loved him so much, according to copies of the note shared publicly for the first time this week by attorneys for Petito's parents.

2 days ago

A member of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as The Old Guard, places flags in front of e...

Associated Press

5 things to know about Memorial Day including its controversies

Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation’s fallen service members, but it’s come to anchor the unofficial start of summer and a long weekend of discounts on anything from mattresses to lawn mowers.

2 days ago

FILE - This artist sketch depicts the trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, left, as he test...

Associated Press

Officers describe chaos, fear on Jan. 6 as judge weighs prison time for Oath Keepers’ Rhodes

Police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and public servants who fled the mob's attack told a judge on Wednesday that they are still haunted by what they endured, as the judge prepares to hand down sentences in a landmark Capitol riot case.

3 days ago

Pride month merchandise is displayed at the front of a Target store in Hackensack, N.J., Wednesday,...

Associated Press

Target on the defensive after removing LGBTQ+-themed products

Target once distinguished itself as being boldly supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.

4 days ago

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Former Arizona television journalist announces bid for Schweikert’s US House seat

A former Phoenix television journalist announced her candidacy Wednesday for the congressional seat currently held by seven-term Republican Rep. David Schweikert.

4 days ago

Tortoise by Henry Davis earned an honorable mention in the "Adventures in Nature” student photo c...

Associated Press

When you adopt a desert tortoise, prepare for a surprisingly social and zippy pet

They’re not fluffy, they don’t play fetch and they certainly don’t roll over. But there is such a thing as a lap tortoise.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

How to identify the symptoms of 3 common anxiety disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and cause significant stress for those who suffer from the condition.

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

Jill Biden to L.A. college grads: ‘Never forget your path’