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Student Turns Out to See Michelle

Nichole DeSousa ditched a class to attend. "I let my professor know I wasn't coming," said DeSousa, a 19-year-old sophomore at Sacred Heart University . She chose to be at the Palace theater to see First Lady Michelle Obama rather than go to her Monday class on "Congress and the Legislative Process."

Her professor, said DeSousa, was "very understanding."

A political science major, DeSousa is a volunteer for U.S. Rep. Jim Himes , who made an appearance at the event. She received a ticket from the Himes camp to attend.

Himes took the stage early to rev up the crowd, calling Michelle Obama "a woman who made history," and urging those in attendance to support the agenda that the 2008 election put into place.

Himes, who is running for reelection against Republican challenger Dan Debicella , mentioned health care reform and homeowner protections as some of the accomplishments of the current administration, and cautioned the crowd against being satisfied with incremental successes.

"We are not done, and the forces that would take us back are ready," he said, "so we must stand once again to finish the job we started in 2008."

DeSousa and other audience members gave Himes a rousing ovation as he left the stage. DeSousa sat next to her mom, Marie DeSousa, who came all the way from East Windsor. She started her trip at 5:30 Monday morning.

"It took two-and-a-half hours to get here," said Marie DeSousa. Every minute was worth it, she added.

"It's the opportunity of a lifetime," she said. "We're great supporters of the Obama family and of Blumenthal."

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