Will President Obama Swing by Santa Monica High School Graduation?

The swim team of Santa Monica High School pose for the yearbook at the school's Memorial Greek Amphitheater, where graduation will be held.
The swim team of Santa Monica High School pose for the yearbook at the school's Memorial Greek Amphitheater, where graduation will be held.
Caoimhe Whitebloom

A group of seniors at Santa Monica High School think it would be cool to have President Obama at their graduation Friday. So they started a campaign hash-tagged "Get Obama to the Greek" by making a video.

Two seniors at SaMoHi, Sam Modabber and Nikki Bell, both 17, cajoled the President to come to their graduation in a short video. By yesterday, the Youtube video had nearly 5,000 views. #getobamatothegreek instantly spread on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among friends and students. Carson Daly, a celebrity alumni at Santa Monica High School, retweeted the Youtube video.

After Nikki learned that Obama was going to be in town on Friday, she had this crazy idea, "It would be cool to have Obama to our graduation. ... My mom recommended that we make a video," she says.

Her friends and fellow students got taped talking about the school's achievements in athletics, leadership and academics -- and student support for the LGBT community after members of the Westboro Baptist Church held an anti-gay protest outside their school last February.

"When [Nikki and Sam] videotaped me, I didn't know what it was for," said Julia Badrya, 18, who will attend Santa Barbara Community College after graduation. "They were like, 'You'll see.'"

Julia was asked to speak a line to an iPhone camera: "Not to mention we're the 100th graduating class of Santa Monica High School." Julia was surprised to learn the video was to get Obama to their graduation.

"I think Obama is too busy to come. But it's a good idea. It could happen, it just takes a lot of work," says Julia.

Graduating students at Santa Monica High School are being hopeful -- and realistic.

Nikki says:

"I think it's a long shot that he actually shows up. There is a lot of talk among the community to get him to do a prerecorded message and show it at the graduation. It would be absolutely amazing. Way and beyond."

After graduation, Nikki is headed for College of Wooster in Ohio. Sam is going to the University of Washington in Seattle.

They haven't heard from the White House as to whether Obama has seen the video or if he'll come.

Either way, the school has a full program planned for graduation.

"It's not like we're missing a big speaker. We're not filling the void," says Sam.

Graduation is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the school's Memorial Greek Amphitheatre (not to be confused with the Greek Theater in Griffith Park).

Obama was going to be in Santa Monica anyway, for his first fund-raising trip after re-election. So why not swing by?

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