With May 1 quickly approaching, thousands of students are making one of the most important decisions of their lives; where to attend college. Since 2014, Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative has celebrated College Signing Day in an effort to encourage students to strive for higher education. Now in its fifth year, the initiative has grown tremendously and popular hashtags like #BetterMakeRoom and #ReachHigher are filling up timelines on social media.
On this episode of Admissions Live, we sit down with Eric Waldo, Executive Director of Reach Higher, to talk about this year’s College Signing Day celebration, the impact the Reach Higher movement has had on America and future goals for Civic Nation.
Adam CastroAdam Castro currently serves as the Vice President of Admissions at Mercy College, a private, multi-campus, comprehensive college in New York. His portfolio includes the areas of college admissions, marketing, branding, and analytics, and the Student Services Support Center. Prior to arriving at Mercy, Adam spent nearly fifteen years at Bloomfield College, the last seven as Vice President for Enrollment Management overseeing admissions, marketing, and financial aid. Adam is an active member of numerous organizations including the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC), the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), and NAFSA: Association for International Educators. He is also co-host of Admissions Live, a monthly professional development program on the Higher Ed Live network. A New Jersey resident, Adam received his master’s degree in Public Administration from Kean University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the Rutgers University School of Communication and Library Studies.
As Executive Director of 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 goal that the U.S. once again leads the world in terms of college graduates. After leaving the White House, Waldo moved over to the non-profit, Civic Nation, where he continues to lead Mrs. Obama’s college access and completion initiative as the Executive Director of Reach Higher and the Executive Vice President for Education. Prior to joining the First Lady’s staff, Eric served as Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S Department of Education for Secretary Arne Duncan. He earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, an M.Ed. from Harvard University, and an A.B. from Brown University.