Michelle Obama’s Last Speech As FLOTUS Is The Message Of Hope This Country Needs

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
The day is finally here, you guys. Michelle Obama just hosted her final official event as first lady — and we're in tears. Earlier on Friday, Obama held a ceremony to recognize school counselors as part of her Reach Higher education initiative. The event marked the start of the final two weeks of her husband's administration; he will formally step down from the presidency on January 20 at noon. In today's speech, she delivered a message of hope that this country desperately needs following a brutally divisive election season. After recognizing the hard work of school counselors all over the nation, the first lady took a couple of minutes to address the nation's young people directly and make something very clear: You matter. "I want our young people to know that this country belongs to you — to all of you, from every background and walk of life," she said. She spoke specifically to the children of immigrants, families with limited resources, and those of every faith. And with hard work, a good education, and lots of hope, every single young person can achieve great things. "Anything is possible, even becoming president," the first lady said. Mrs. Obama, who has always emphasized that diversity is at the core of the American story, doubled down on this sentiment in her speech. "Our glorious diversity of faiths, colors, and creeds is not a threat to who we are — it makes us who we are," she said, adding, "Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story — you do." FLOTUS also encouraged young people to remember one thing when they feel like they want to give up: "The power of hope, the belief that something better is always possible if you're willing to work for it and fight for it." She continued, "It's our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise up against 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." As she concluded her remarks, Obama said her final goodbye as first lady. "I just want to close out by saying thank you," she said. "Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I made you proud." If you need us, we'll be under our desks sobbing for the rest of the day.

More from US News

R29 Original Series