America’s last eight years have been interesting to watch thanks to the Obamas. While the world now focuses on the departure of Barack and his family, and watches the new-comer, Donald Trump, enter the White House, I think it’s best to distract ourselves from the hate and mockery with some love. Specifically, love for the great Michelle Obama.
Eight years is a long time and a lot can change in that time. Thanks to the Obama administration, some things did. But the praise doesn’t stop with the President. News and social media sites are currently flooded with articles and stories about Michelle being the best First Lady, and I whole-heartedly agree.
I could go on and on for ages listing reasons as to why Michelle seriously rocks, but I’ll spare you and make only a few points. Not only is she devoted to her family — cracking jokes, being a good wife and mom — but to her country, striving to create and inspire greatness in children, with a particular emphasis on young girls.
The Obamas believed in education, and because of that, wanted the best for today’s youth in terms of getting access to even the most basic learning. Although she created most of the initiatives by herself, and pursued them on her own terms, Michelle did get by with a little help and inspiration from her husband.
Together, they tried to build a better future.
The Reach Higher initiative was started in 2014 and was Michelle’s way of supporting her husband’s 2020 North Star Goal: increasing the share of American citizens who have a post-secondary education. According to the initiative’s history, Reach Higher was created to “expand opportunity for our nation’s students by inspiring every student in the United States to take charge of his or her future by completing his or her education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.”
In a progress report released on January 6, 2017, the Reach Higher program has been successful in trying to promote post-secondary enrichment and stating that more than 24 per cent of Reach Higher convening attendees were school counselors: the people best cut out, in the Obama’s minds, to boost a student’s understanding of how they can benefit their lives after high school.
With the 2020 Goal well underway and with progress being made more and more each day, 2015 brought forward Michelle and Barack’s joint project — Let Girls Learn. Instead of focusing only on the U.S. population, the Obama’s are working worldwide, spreading the need for education on a global level.
Working together with the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps and other government and international agencies, Let Girls Learn is “employing a holistic approach to change the perception of the value of girls at the individual, community and institutional levels; foster an enabling environment for adolescent girls’ education; and engage and equip girls to make life decisions and important contributions to society.”
Of all her work in education and the betterment of youth, Michelle’s most noted campaign is the Let’s Move initiative. Starting back in 2010, Let’s Move was Michelle’s first solo campaign for a better America. It was dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity and obesity within our generation. What better way to start than from the root? The campaign still pushes to promote healthy eating and physical activity and the (now former) First Lady is no stranger to getting out there herself and showing us how it’s done.
I think this is where her fun side comes in. Michelle Obama clearly loves to dance, whether it’s showcasing the “evolution of mom-dancing” with Jimmy Fallon, opening up a show with Ellen Degeneres or just jamming out with her daughters. She keeps things light in the spotlight and stays humble doing so.
That being said, she’s also no stranger to being an internet sensation, with countless T.V. appearances — talk shows, cameos and two features on Sesame Street to promote healthy eating and living to kids and families. Today’s access to social media only further proves that the family is fun-loving and open about it.
The Obamas are no strangers to the love they receive from it, especially Michelle. She’s the idealistic mom that everyone wishes they had, who can and will embarrass you at any moment — as proven by the viral vine in which the First Lady chair-dances with a turnip to a Lil Jon song. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
Michelle is undoubtedly a prime inspiration and idol for young girls everywhere. She is a strong woman who, while owing her current fame to her presidential hubby, remains fierce, independent and influential, just like every girl has the potential to be. She attended both Princeton University and Harvard Law School before taking an associate position at a Chicago law firm where she would later meet Barack — who she was assigned to as an advisor. Michelle challenges girls to focus on their studies and their futures, knowing their abilities are endless and joking that, “if [she] worried about who liked [her] and who thought [she] was cute at your age, [she] wouldn’t be married to the President of the United States today.”
Her loving personality and charm shines through in her work and her public expression, and doesn’t just stop at what I’ve presented. Her works stems far beyond, touching on education for African-Americans, arts and fashion education and her combined efforts with Dr. Jill Biden that helps provide veterans and active military service members and their families with access to education, employment and wellness programs.
Her care is endless, her presence is undeniable, and her abilities are far beyond what America has already received. I also don’t think she’s done quite yet. Being the beloved FLOTUS only gave her the high she needed to launch all of these amazing projects.
Now that she’s up there, I think she’ll continue to shine regardless of who represents America in the White House.