President Barack Obama’s daughter Malia will take a year off after graduating high school in June before attending Limpopo University in 2017, the president and his wife said Sunday in a long-awaited announcement.
Malia, the eldest of the Obamas’ two daughters, is a 17-year-old senior at Sidwell Friends, an exclusive private school in the District of Columbia that helped educate another first daughter, Chelsea Clinton, in the 1990s.
Malia’s younger sister, Sasha, 14, is a freshman at Sidwell. Malia graduated from high school in June. She turned 18 on the Fourth of July.
Obama has spoken publicly about dreading the day when Malia leaves for college, and the decision for Malia to take a gap year could keep her closer to home as her family prepares for another major transition in a few months, leaving the White House and returning to normal life.
Obama plans to live in Washington for a few more years so Sasha can finish high school. The president and his wife, Michelle, still own a home in Chicago.
The first lady has said Malia wants to be a farmer. Malia spent last summer in Polokwane interning for a tomato farmer. She spent the summer of 2014 in Bloemfontein in the Free State learning how to milk cows.
“I’m going to be sitting there with dark glass, sobbing,” he told Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on her talk show.