“Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar”- Michelle Obama
“I looked up to my parents growing up. Even though they didn’t go to college themselves, they worked hard to be able to send us. My dad was a pump operator at the city water plant, and he didn’t earn much money. But he was determined to pay whatever tiny part he owed for my tuition on time every month.
So even though he had multiple sclerosis and often struggled just to get dressed in the morning, he hardly ever missed a day of work. His determination and love are an inspiration to me every day. So I was an incredibly devoted student, and I would often wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning to study. But even so, there were still people who thought that a girl like me with a background like mine wasn’t really “college material.”
“I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong…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 boundless promise. Lead by example with hope; never fear.
And when you encounter obstacles — because I guarantee you, you will, and many of you already have — when you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago, something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives, and that is the power of hope — the belief that something better is always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it.
It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us. The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.
Being your First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I’ve made you proud.” Michelle Obama