The first lady, herself a community college professor, received a warm welcome from L.A. City College graduates and their families at the Greek Theater on Tuesday.
Among the graduates was a mother who went into labor during her final exams. And David Rojas, who overcame a major obstacle, he says, to graduate today.
"I'm a recovering drug addict. And you know I managed to piece my life together, and you know, you can change," Rojas said. "Sometimes it takes a miracle in recovery to kind of really get somebody going, this is everything to me."
"Never forget what made you who you are, and then you will be ready for wherever you choose to go next," Biden said. "So on behalf of my husband, the president, and me, congratulations graduates!"
The First Lady is a professor in the English department at Northern Virginia Community College, making her the first presidential spouse to work full-time outside the White House.
In 2016, when her husband was vice president, she announced the launch of the Los Angeles College Promise Program offering free tuition for all new, full-time students in the Los Angeles Community College District.
"For the rest of your life, people will ask you to define yourself. You'll write a resume that lists the black and white details of your past -- including LACC -- in neat, bulleted lines," the first lady told graduates. "But your story is so much more than a place you grew up, or your degree."
City News Service, Inc. contributed to this report