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Haley attends Obama's speech

President Barack Obama in Foellinger Auditorium

Haley Tholen was one of 750 incredibly lucky Urbana Campus students out of 22,000 applicants to have the opportunity to attend former President Barrack Obama's speech on Friday, Sept. 7th, 2018. Political figures present included Senator Dick Durbin, Governor Candidate J.B. Pritzker, and Lieutenant Governor Candidate Juliana Stratton. Haley met and had a photo Robert J. Jones, the Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Timothy Kileen, President of the University of Illinois, first introduced UIUC Industrial Engineering student, Amaury Saulsberry. Amaury gave an inspirational speech about life growing up in an underprivileged community in Chicago and being inspired by President Barrack Obama. Once President Barrack Obama came on stage, everyone immediately rose from their seats and Foellinger Auditorium exploded in applause. Haley was overjoyed and even had a few tears in her eyes, she couldn't believe the moment was real. President Barrack Obama stirred up the audience by starting with the I-L-L-I-N-I chant. Haley, having not been to a football game yet this year, said that it was the most enthusiasm she had heard from Illinois students for quite a while. President Barrack Obama delivered an incredibly important message to the students in particular: we must vote. Instead of protesting about the conditions of America, we must vote. Haley's favorite quote from President Barrack Obama's speech was, "Don't let people tell you the fight isn't worth it just because you won't get everything you want." President Barrack Obama made it clear that "Better is good." We cannot make anything perfect in America, but we can make it better, and better is worth the fight. Haley is very grateful for the opportunity to witness a former president speak about young people's important role in governance and contributing to changes to our community.

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