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Former First Lady Michelle Obama will visit UCLA in May to headline her annual national celebration of all high school seniors and transfer students who commit to pursuing higher education.

Obama has said that her school counselors did not encourage her, as a black student from a working-class family in Chicago, to aim high for college. She went on to earn degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School — fueling her desire to push higher education, especially to students like herself whose parents did not attend college.

In 2014, she launched Reach Higher, a college access initiative which includes an annual College Signing Day. UCLA will be the first West Coast campus to host the May 1 festivities, which previously have been held in New York, San Antonio, Philadelphia and Detroit.

How to score tickets for the big day, which will also feature big-name athletes and other celebrities? By invitation only. More than 9,000 California high school and community college students will be selected by their schools to attend the event at Pauley Pavilion. Others will be able to watch via livestream.

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