Excitement builds over President Obama's Syracuse visit

Henninger High School parents and students are excited and proud to hear the news that President Obama is officially stopping at the school on Thursday.

"Having the president, it could show kids that someone actually does care," said Naja Pitts, a recent Henninger graduate.

President Obama is expected to speak about more affordable college tuition and improving the value of higher education. Both are topics that address concerns of current Henninger students.

"I don't know about everyone else, but I'm really worried about college, and I want to get into college," said rising Henninger sophomore Callyann Millay. "But with the cost, it's going to be extremely difficult. And if he can make it more affordable, that's going to be awesome for everyone else."

"I hope I can afford college," said Olivia Heydens, also a rising Henninger sophomore. "If he makes it more affordable, it definitely makes it easier to get in. I think it'd make it more realistic."

For parents, the visit draws attention to a school in need of attention. Only half of its students graduate in four years, and a quarter of students drop out.

"I think it maybe can draw some attention, maybe open some parents' eyes," said parent and alumna Maisha Brown-Pitts. "I think some people really don't understand how bad it really is. I think it will maybe put that in perspective."

The presidential visit is also expected to cause major traffic problems in Syracuse. "When a president comes to town, it really shuts down traffic," said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. "And so, if you have errands to run, you should do them Wednesday or Friday, and Thursday, take advantage of the fact that we're going to have a sitting president."

President Obama's visit to Syracuse is the first by a sitting president since 1999.