Why I Still Reach Higher: Nick Cannon On College Education

Nick Cannon is a guest contributor for Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative. Read the article below or on Forbes.com.

Every once in a while, you hear about a celebrity or pro athlete who goes back to school to complete their college degree. Shaq. Bo Jackson. Michael Jordan. They already have fame, they’ve made money, and they’re living far, far beyond their wildest childhood dreams.

So, why? Why go back?

I never fully understood—until it was me. I’ve achieved some fame. I’ve made some money. I’ve accomplished goals I never even imagined as a child. And yet, I’m up late at night reading and writing; I get on a plane every week or so to attend classes at Howard University, and I’m forcing myself to squeeze out the time and summon the energy I need to complete my college education. Do you know why I do it?

While maintaining his high profile career in entertainment, Nick Cannon is enrolled at Howard University where he's working to attain his college degree.

While maintaining his high profile career in entertainment, Nick Cannon is enrolled at Howard University where he’s working to attain his college degree.

To reach higher.

I applaud and commend all of the young people I had the opportunity to spend time with at Michelle Obama’s College Signing Day event for graduating seniors. I found it to be remarkable how influencers from various fields came together to celebrate not only these young people’s accomplishments but to encourage them on their future.

I was honored when our former First Lady, or as I like to refer to her, my “Forever First Lady,” invited me to participate. It was such a powerful event and selfless occasion. It truly showed how much she continues to care for our youth and the importance of education in our great country.

It’s up to all of us, especially our youth, not to do more but to do better.

I make a great living, but I want to be a great businessman. I know the history of entertainment, but I want to write the future of entertainment. I’m pleased with my career so far, but I’m not satisfied. Never satisfied.

That’s why I have to always reach higher.

That day and that event taught me that our young people have a vision for their future, and I cannot rest until I bring that vision to life. That’s why Reach Higher’s College Signing Day inspired me to work even harder to get my college degree. I can’t think of a more rewarding experience I’ve had than being in a room filled with young people who feel the same way—happy, but not satisfied.

Nick Cannon joined former First Lady Michelle Obama for the 2017 College Signing Day at The Public Theater in New York City.

Nick Cannon joined former First Lady Michelle Obama for the 2017 College Signing Day at The Public Theater in New York City.

I’m grateful to Michelle Obama for creating the Reach Higher initiative and inviting me to participate. I’m thankful she is traveling the world to spread the simple message that young people have to aspire to more than a high school diploma in our modern economy. We have to reach higher. Do more. Be better. To become our best selves.

I have a message to the worldwide participants of the Reach Higher movement: see you at the top!

To learn more about Reach Higher, College Signing Day, and the Better Make Room campaign, visit www.bettermakeroom.org.