Race to the Top Commencement Challenge voting begins today - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Race to the Top Commencement Challenge voting begins today

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Internet voting begins Thursday as six high schools vie to have President Barack Obama deliver the commencement speech for this year's graduating seniors.

In its second year, the Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge invited the nation's public high schools to demonstrate how their school best prepares them for college and a career. The six finalists, including Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, were chosen from hundreds of applications.

From Thursday through April 29, the public is asked to view and rate video presentations from each school on a scale of 1 to five. The three schools with the highest average rating will be sent to President Obama for a final selection.

At BTW Thursday, students and faculty participated in a "Get out the Vote" rally, providing laptops for supporters to use to vote in the contest.

"We want to focus on what we can do," Principal Alisha Kiner said. "We want to use the things that we've learned to overcome obstacles."

Having the president speak at graduation would be a dream-come-true, said senior JaQuila Banks.

"It motivates us, not only the seniors, but other underclassmen," Banks said.

Those interested in voting can go to http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/Commencement to watch the videos and make a selection.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this story.

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