Michelle Obama Delivers a Heart-Wrenching Final Speech as First Lady

MAKER Michelle Obama delivered her final speech as First Lady on Friday afternoon, when she gave the closing remarks at the 2017 School Counselor of the Year event at the White House. This was in keeping with a tradition first established by the First Lady in 2015.

She began by thanking all of those who made her Reach Higher initiative a success, and spoke about the importance of maintaining that sense of progress going forward. "As I end my time in the White House, I can think of no better message to send our young people," Obama said. "For all the young people in this room and that are watching, know that this country belongs to you, to all of you. If you or your parents are immigrants, you are in this room and those who are watching, know that this country belongs to you, to all of you . . . If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition." Don't be afraid of diversity, Obama continued, in a speech that echoed Hillary Clinton's concession remarks, "It makes us who we are . . . . 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."

"So that's my final message to young people as First Lady," Obama said, hitting the oratorical high notes that she established back on the campaign trail, when she emerged as one of the most powerful voices on the political stage. "It's simple; I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong. So don't be afraid. Do you hear me, young people? Don't be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourself with a good education." Obama ended by reiterating something that the President had tweeted on January 1: "Being your First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I made you proud."

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