CBS: School Mentioned in Obama Speech ‘Shares the Audacity of Hope’

Mark Strassmann, CBS At the end of Wednesday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric introduced a segment on Tysheoma Bethea, a 14-year-old girl who attended Obama’s address to Congress: "President Obama has said one of the biggest adjustments of his new job is living in a bubble. Now, to combat that problem, he started to read a handful of letters everyday from average Americans. One letter, written by an eighth grader from Dillon, South Carolina, caught his eye, and her story caught ours."

Correspondent Mark Strassmann then reported: "Thanks to Tysheoma Bethea, everyone at J.V. Martin Junior High now shares the audacity of hope...Last night, the 14-year-old watched President Obama read America her letter to Congress, a plea to build a new school for her small town." Strassmann described the situation at Bethea’s impoverished school and how Obama had instantly inspired them: "Too often at J.V. Martin Junior High dreams die early. 85% of students live below the poverty line. This school, built in 1896, is falling apart. For generations here, hope has been in shambles. The dropout rate is 60% and the daily fight is against a poverty of the spirit. But last night, this junior high reconnected to hope."

Strassmann spoke with Bethea, who declared: "There's such thing as possibilities and as long as you got possibilities, all your dreams can come true." Strassmann asked her: "And last night was a dream come true?" Bethea replied: "Yes, sir." Strassmann concluded his report: "With one letter, this eighth grader taught her entire school the possibilities in dreaming." Couric added: "Good for her."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

6:57PM SEGMENT:

KATIE COURIC: President Obama has said one of the biggest adjustments of his new job is living in a bubble. Now, to combat that problem, he started to read a handful of letters everyday from average Americans. One letter, written by an eighth grader from Dillon, South Carolina, caught his eye, and her story caught ours. Mark Strassmann now on the teenager who will not quit.

MARK STRASSMANN: Thanks to Tysheoma Bethea, everyone at J.V. Martin Junior High now shares the audacity of hope.

BARACK OBAMA: I think about Tysheoma Bethea.

STRASSMANN: Last night, the 14-year-old watched President Obama read America her letter to Congress, a plea to build a new school for her small town.

TYSHEOMA BETHEA: 'We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself, and one day presidents. So we can make a change not only in the state of South Carolina, but the world.'

OBAMA: 'So we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina, but also the world.

BETHEA: 'We are not quitters.'

OBAMA: 'We are not quitters.'

BETHEA: I would have never thought something like that would have ever come true for a little girl from Dillon, South Carolina, and a little school.

STRASSMANN: Too often at J.V. Martin Junior High dreams die early. 85% of students live below the poverty line. This school, built in 1896, is falling apart. For generations here, hope has been in shambles. The dropout rate is 60% and the daily fight is against a poverty of the spirit. But last night, this junior high reconnected to hope.

AMANDA BURNETTE [PRINCIPAL, J.V. MARTIN JUNIOR HIGH]: To watch my little girl up there and, you know, tears were just flowing down my face because this is my blood, sweat, and tears.

BETHEA: There's such thing as possibilities and as long as you got possibilities, all your dreams can come true.

STRASSMANN: And last night was a dream come true?

BETHEA: Yes, sir.

STRASSMANN: With one letter, this eighth grader taught her entire school the possibilities in dreaming. Mark Strassmann, CBS News, Dillon, South Carolina.

COURIC: Good for her.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC