Michelle Obama’s farewell speech as the outgoing America’s First Lady will surely inspire but wrench your heart. Try to hold your tears while you read through her words at the January 7 event.
Michelle delivered her soul-shaking speech at the 2017 School Counselor of the Year event which became a tradition since 2015.
The First Lady expressed gratitude to all who contributed in making her Reach Higher initiative a huge success. Her comments at the East Wing of Obama’s Oval Office was mainly about inspiring young people to embrace education.
Mrs Obama and her family will leave the White House on 20 January after an 8-year service to the United States of America.
The mother-of-two began her closing remarks by calling out some celebrity guests at the event – Kelly Rowland, Usher Raymond, Jay Pharaoh, Connie Britton, Ted Allen, La La Anthony, Andy Cohen, Wale and Allison Williams.
“All of these folks are here because they’re using their star power to inspire our young people, and I am so grateful to all of you for stepping up in so many ways, on so many occasions,” the 52-year-old said.
“So thank you all so much. It really means the world to this initiative.”
FLOTUS implored her audience and all concerned contributors to ensure that the Reach Higher initiative remains afloat even when she’s gone from the White House.
Mrs Obama revealed that the only thing she ever desired to do as a US First Lady was to make education easily accessible to young people from all walks of life. She said lots of governmental bottlenecks were eliminated so students could apply for financial aid.
In her words: “All together we made, in this administration, the largest investment in higher education since the GI Bill. And today the high school graduation rate is at a record high and more young people than ever before are going to college.”
The wife of America’s 44th President explained that all school counselors should be appreciated as “heroes” in her success story.
“For all the young people in this room and those who are watching, know that this country belongs to you,” she said.
“To all of you. From every background and walk of life. If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition.
“The infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas … that has made us the greatest country on Earth.”
She continued with some words of inspiration, telling the audience: “If your family doesn’t have much money, I want you to remember that in this country, plenty of folks, including me and my husband – we started out with very little – but with a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is possible, even becoming president. That’s what the American Dream is all about.
“Don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story.
“And when you encounter obstacles – because I guarantee you will, and many of you already have – when you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago,” she remarked.
“Something that has carried us through every moment in this White House, and every moment of our lives, and that is the power of hope. The belief that something better is always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it.
“It is our fundamental belief and the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country.
“Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us. The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe, they too will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.
“So, that’s my final message to young people as first lady,” she continued, holding back the tears. “It is simple.”
She advised her young audience to have courage and never lose hope on their dreams.
“Don’t be afraid, do you hear me?” she exclaimed.
“Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused, be determined, be hopeful, be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.
“Lead by example with hope, never fear. And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.”
“I want to close today by simply saying thank you,” Obama said. “Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope I’ve made you proud.”