“Our glorious diversities — our diversities of faith and colors and creeds — that is not a threat to who we are. It makes us who we are.”
– Michelle Obama
It’s official. First Lady Michelle Obama gave her final speech as FLOTUS at the White House’s 2017 National School Counselor of the Year ceremony today (Jan. 6).
Launched in 2015 by the first lady as part of her Reach Higher movement, which she began the year before to help “make higher education cool” and “change the conversation around what it means and what it takes to be a success in this country,” this ceremony awards school counselors from all over the country who’ve been recognized as being the best in their states.
To a room full of press, educators, students, and even celebs (Usher, Kelly Rowland, Lala Anthony, and others were in the house), Michelle Obama spoke about the importance of Reach Higher, Better Make Room, and the important work school counselors do. Then, she spoke directly to you, the students. And as she neared the end of her remarks, she was audibly holding back the tears. She began:
“To the young people here and the young people out there: Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter or like you don’t have a place in our American story because you do … You cannot take your freedoms for granted. Just like generations who’ve come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect those freedoms. And that starts right now.”
And while she may no longer be FLOTUS in a few short weeks (cue ugly cry), in her speech’s last moments, she promised this: “Know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.”
So, how will you heed the call? Get inspired by watching Michelle Obama’s full speech below:
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