On Friday, Michelle Obama gave her final White House remarks as First Lady, surrounded by weeping women.
CNN reports that the speech was given during an event intended to honor the 2017 School Counselor of the Year, a ceremony Obama began in 2015 as part of her “Reach Higher” program created to promote higher education and highlight the leadership skills of exceptional school counselors. As usual, Obama inspires with her words, though she becomes emotional as she finishes, with some of the women gathered around her openly crying:
“I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong,” Obama said, her voice breaking several times near the end of her remarks. “So don’t be afraid. You hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. 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.”
She ends with a thank you to all the educators in the room, then says, “Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope I’ve made you proud.” I am now sobbing at my desk.