The White House announced today that Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee had won the White House Commencement Challenge.

They won because they raised their voice, and in doing so, they showed the White House why their school deserved to have the President of the United States as their commencement speaker.

Booker T. Washington has increased their graduation rate from 55% to 82%. Their math scores are 20% higher than the state average. The video they submitted to the White House emphasized not just the collective achievements but on the individuals who made these achievements possible.

The refrain “I am one!” repeats throughout their video submission (below and also on the White House servers). The video also ties these students to the school’s legacy by showing other notable alumni, each of whom “was one.”

Watch the video, and notice how clearly each individual voice–and the voice of the community–comes through.

Congratulations to the students at Booker T. Washington, and to the Memphis community, who definitely needed some good news and a little bit of hope these days.


Leave a Reply