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Michelle Obama

Former First Lady of the United States

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Michelle Obama talks about growing up on Chicago's South Side, graduating cum laude from Princeton University, quitting her job at a law firm, and becoming the first African American First Lady of the United States.

Michelle Obama grew up in the South Side of Chicago with her parents and older brother. From an early age, her family instilled in her the value of education, which led her to graduate cum laude from Princeton University, where she studied sociology and African-American studies, before attending Harvard Law School.  

Her passion of helping others in neighborhoods similar to the one from which she came became her chief priority. Eventually, she quit her job at Chicago's Sidley & Austin law firm where she met her future husband, Barack Obama, in order to take on careers in which she could lift people up and serve her community.  

By 1996, four years after their wedding, Obama became the Associate Dean of Student Services for the University of Chicago and Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she developed the college's first community service program and helped volunteerism increase.  

In 2008, her husband, Senator Barack Obama, was elected the 44th President of the United States of America, making her the first African-American First Lady. As the First Lady, Obama made sure to prioritize her role as a mother to her two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Aside from being a hands-on mother, she continued her work of helping others by launching various initiatives to help the world's youth. In 2010, following her mission to address the challenge of childhood obesity with Let’s Move!, Obama launched Reach Higher, a movement in 2014 to encourage young Americans to fulfill their highest educational goals. Obama, alongside her husband, launched the Let Girls Learn initiative to help keep girls around the world gain access to education.

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