“Being your First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I made you proud.” —The First Lady https://t.co/8INNaOIdt1
— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) January 6, 2017
Michelle Obama fought back tears during her final speech as the First Lady of the United States, where she honored the 2017 Counselor of the Year. As she spoke, Mrs. Obama reflected on the importance of education in a message to youths.
The end of her time as First lady coincides with the counselor honor, established in 2015 as part of Obama’s Reach Higher campaign that encourages students to pursue higher education. The School Counselor of the Year ceremony celebrates the best school counselors across the country. This year, the top honor went to Michigan resident Terri Tchorzynski, who works at a technical school, according to NBC News.
Throughout her tenure, Obama established many initiatives focusing on improving efforts for education, including her Let Girls Learn program, which specifically focused on helping young female students stay in school.
“Don’t be afraid,” Obama told American youths of attaining a college degree. “Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourself 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.”
As the Harvard Law alum wrapped her speech, she acknowledged it was her last address as the First Lady. When she did, Obama was visibly choked up as she concluded her remarks.
“I want to close today by saying thank you,” she said as the counselors around her wiped away tears. “Thank you for everything you do for our kids and for our country. Being your First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life,” she said. “And I hope I’ve made you proud.”
But it’s not all sadness in Washington, D.C. Before First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama exit the White House, the duo will host a goodbye party Friday, Jan. 6. According to a source for The Washington Post, celebrities due to drop by include Usher, Samuel L. Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Oprah Winfrey. Plus, Beyoncé and Jay Z are rumored to be on the list of performers.