Always breaking barriers, @SimoneBiles—couldn’t be more proud of you!
#InternationalYouthDay has me thinking about how, whenever I traveled abroad during my time as First Lady, I always tried to spend time with young people. I wanted to break outside of the conference halls and grand palaces and see how people really lived. So I visited girls in their classrooms in Cambodia and Liberia. I played table tennis with young people in China and danced with children in Mexico. The energy, the courage, the determination of these young women and young men — it never failed to inspire me. These are the young people who helped spur my work with the @GirlsOpportunityAlliance, where we’re doing our part to make sure every young woman on this planet has the chance to go to school and pursue her dreams. So today on #InternationalYouthDay, I hope you’ll join us to support these girls every single day. Check out the link in my bio to learn more.
It feels like we could all use an uplifting story right about now. So let me tell you about an incredible young man I met a few years ago, Oscar McClain. What I love about Oscar’s story is that no matter how many ups and downs he’s been through, he’s always remained resilient on his journey of becoming. Just before he started high school, Oscar lost his grandfather. But he decided to turn his grief into determination, pouring his energy into his studies. Four years later, he was salutatorian of his high school class and joined me at the White House for my #BeatingTheOdds Summit. He went on to Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, where he knew he’d have to be just as purposeful to reach a new set of goals. So he reached out to his professors and found a network of peers who kept him steady. But even so, last summer was hard. He faced another loss—this time, his father. It’s the kind of loss you carry with every step, every breath. Trust me, I know. But here’s how Oscar paid tribute to his father: He doubled down on everything he’d learned from him, and lived with dignity and purpose that would make his father proud. This May, he graduated college with a degree in Chemistry and a 3.7 GPA. Because as he told me this summer, “Overcoming obstacles is what causes success to be worth achieving.” I’m so proud of you, Oscar! #BetterMakeRoom
This afternoon, I was thrilled to visit with @CocoGauff. When we talk about the potential of our young people, we often think about it as some far-off promise, years or decades away. But the truth is they have so much to offer us right now—something we all saw a few weeks ago at Wimbledon. Coco is a wonderful young woman who’s showing us that we don’t have to wait to see what the next generation can do.
Whenever I see this picture, and the look in my mother’s eyes, I wonder if she has any idea what’s coming in the decades ahead: Real love and real loss, children and grandchildren who’d keep her on her toes, a wild ride to places she’d only read about or seen on television. But I also see something else in those eyes, something that guided me every day from the moment I was born—her unflappable belief that whatever came her way, she’d manage it. And because she’d manage, we all would, too. Happy birthday, Mom. I love you!
I am so proud of everyone I met today at the #BeatingTheOdds Summit with @reachhigher2020. To anyone out there who feels like the world is stacked against them, know that I'm rooting for you to succeed and reach your full potential.
Today I’m headed to @Howard1867 for our 5th annual #BeatingTheOdds Summit, where I’ll be reunited with some of the students I’ve met over the years. One of these is a resilient young woman named Rachel McKenzie Scott—and her story, like so many of those we’ll be celebrating today—couldn’t be more inspiring. For much of her life, Rachel felt like the world was working against her. She lost her mother when she was 12 and not long after, her father left their family. She and her siblings became wards of the state of Washington and her two younger siblings entered foster care. She’d go to bed at night wondering where her next meal would come from, and she’d wake up in the morning worried that she wouldn’t have clean clothes for school. Every day, she worried about her family’s safety, and she often thought about dropping out and giving up. But Rachel bet on herself. She asked for help and leaned on her mentor, Melissa Repp, to get through high school and college. At the University of Washington, she found professors she could open up to, friends she could relate to, and a trusty support dog, Blu, who was always there when she needed her. Today, she’s a graduate from the University of Washington, about to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming an oceanographer. But that’s only part of the story—I’ll let Rachel tell you the rest. Check out my Instagram Story today as she takes it over and gives you a behind-the-scenes-look at today’s Summit.
This is Darius Wesley, who I first met at a #BeatingTheOdds Summit back in 2014. Back then, he’d just graduated from North Lawndale College Prep in my hometown of Chicago. Growing up on the west side of the city, Darius lost friends and family members to violence and drugs. In high school, he was forced to uproot his life when his mother faced a series of health issues. At times, Darius told me, he just wanted to give up. But he didn’t. He couldn’t. It’s not who he is. Five years later, he’s channeled the lessons he learned while overcoming those obstacles into a marketing degree at Cleveland State University—becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college. I could not be prouder of this young man. Looking back, Darius said, "I appreciate those challenges-–they caused me to reach back and remember the support system that I have in the back of my pocket. All of the teachers and coaches that believe in me as a player, as a student, as a person. My mother, sisters, and brothers are all looking for me to just do better." Next Tuesday, Darius will once again join me in DC for our 5th anniversary #BeatingTheOdds Summit with @ReachHigher2020—one of the most inspiring days of the year. And in the meantime, I want to hear from all of you: Who's a young person in your life who is #BeatingTheOdds? Share their stories with me in the comments below. #ReachHigher
Wishing a wonderful birthday to @Malala! When I first met Malala a few years back, I was blown away by her eloquence and her conviction to stand up for girls just like her in every corner of the globe. That conversation helped inspire me to focus more deeply on girls’ education around the world. Right now, there are tens of millions of girls who are not in school—girls who are bright, hardworking, and hungry to learn. To celebrate #MalalaDay, join me and @GirlsOpportunityAlliance in our work to empower girls in countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. I hope you'll head over to the link in my bio to learn more and get involved.
I was lucky enough to share a few moments with Cameron Boyce—on set, at the White House, and on a service project—enough time to recognize that not only did he have incredible talent, but also an incredible heart. Sending out a lot of love and hugs to his family, friends, and his many, many fans.
What a great night here in New Orleans celebrating 25 years of#EssenceFest and #BlackGirlMagic. Thanks to @GayleKing for sitting down with me to talk about all things #IAmBecoming, relationships and just how hard it is as women to put ourselves first.
Hey, #EssenceFest! I brought a few of my girlfriends with me to New Orleans and we can't wait to join you tonight in the Superdome. Who's ready?!
Pretty grateful for this guy. Happy Father’s Day!
I love this photo of my father because it shows so much of his presence—his strength, his poise, and yes, his style. My dad was pretty cool. He was proud and warm with a smooth baritone voice and ready laugh. He was also quite punctual, as you can see from his wristwatch suntan. But I also love this photo because its imperfections capture a lot about what it’s like for me to think about him today. This snapshot is a reminder that all memories are somewhat incomplete, a photographic representation that my time with him was cut short. And that’s ok—that’s life. And that’s why, today and every day, I’m grateful for all of it: for every imperfect photograph, for every incomplete memory, and for the many wonderful, beautiful years I had to learn and love — and be loved by — my father. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you and I’ll love you forever.
On Anne Frank's 90th birthday, I keep reflecting on this quote from her. I first read the Diary of Anne Frank as a young woman, and while in Amsterdam this past April on my #IAmBecoming tour, I was deeply moved by my visit to the Anne Frank House, where she and her family lived in hiding for more than two years. There, I saw this quote on the wall—it reflects the timelessness of her truth, the courage of a young woman who saw the power in her own voice, even when she was confronted with unimaginable horror and difficulty. What inspires me is her instinct not just to use her voice on its own, but to use it to connect with those around her—to work for something larger than herself. I hope that her example inspires all of us to speak up just a little louder, a little more bravely in our own lives today. And if we all do that, then together, we can shine a little more light on what we share—the common humanity that unites us all. #Anne90
This resilient and hardworking young lady is Anta Nije. I first met Anta back in 2015 when I spoke at King College Prep’s graduation on the South Side of Chicago. Three years later, I caught up with Anta in Atlanta while talking to a group of college students during my #IAmBecoming book tour. A first-generation college student, she graduated just last month from @Spelman_College where she studied political science and journalism. While at Spelman, she hosted a podcast, mentored first-year students at Morehouse, joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and became Miss HBCU. Now with her degree in hand, she’s taking her next step by interning at a fashion company in Paris and with a dream of one day building her own fashion brand. I’m so proud of the person that Anta has become. She’s a terrific example of the many bright young people in our country working hard to lift up themselves and their families through education. Now, I want to hear from you. Let’s give some love to all of the inspiring #Classof2019 graduates out there -- shout them out by tagging them in the comments below! #ReachHigher
Chicago is the city that taught me what it means to give back. I was a few years into my career when I decided to leave my law firm, diving into city government and nonprofit work. Over the years, I ended up visiting parts of the city I hadn’t been to before, spending time with elderly residents, supporting promising young leaders, and working to bridge the divide between a hospital and the community it served. It was all so inspiring and motivating—some of the work I’m most proud of to this day—and it gave me skills and lessons that I’m still applying every day. That’s why I was so thrilled to hear about this week's first-ever Civic Action Awards, where the @ObamaFoundation and @ChiPubSchools honored those who’ve made a powerful impact inside and outside of school. Congratulations to all the winners—and it’s great to see so many of you getting an earlier start than me!
I could not be more honored to help celebrate 50 years of @SesameStreet tonight. It’s a program that’s been a part of my life as a child, as a mother, as First Lady—and thankfully, still today. I’ll never forget the first time my daughters came to Sesame Street with me back in 2010. As Malia, Sasha, and I walked onto that street with the brownstone, the grocery store, and the famous trash can, we were totally overwhelmed, in awe, our faces filled with wonder, and our spirits soaring. But it wasn’t just us—my staff was mesmerized. Even the Secret Service agents had big goofy grins on. There is something unexplainable that happens there, some unique alchemy that bubbles up that you just can’t find anywhere else. There’s nothing in the world that so beautifully marries boundless aspiration with simple goodness, nothing that strips away the daily madness and distraction, nothing that is so pure and hopeful—and absolutely essential to our future. Congrats on 50 great years—here’s to 50 more. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating by sharing a favorite memory or lesson learned using #Sesame50.
People don’t get to where they are if they go at it alone. Last week, I met the new class of #ObamaFellows—20 leaders from around the world who are doing the type of work that will create a better future for all of us. We talked about what keeps us going and how important it is to have help along the way. With support from the @ObamaFoundation—and each other—our hope is that these Fellows will continue to grow and expand their work, changing the world for generations to come.
Sunday night in Nashville, I walked off stage for the final time on my #IAmBecoming tour. After 34 stops, from Chicago to Copenhagen and Vancouver to Atlanta, I couldn’t be more humbled—or more hopeful. I started this journey knowing that in order for you all to know who I was, you had to know my whole story—the broken parts, the struggles, and the imperfections. It wasn’t always easy to share those moments, but I know that it’s only because of them that I was able to become something more. So thank you all—all the young people I met along the way, all the folks sitting in the balconies, all the book clubs who generated real discussions—for recognizing that truth in your own lives, and for sharing it not just with me but with the world. If each of us can do more of that, if we can be a little more vulnerable, a little more honest with ourselves and with each other, then maybe we can pay that lesson forward to someone else. Maybe we’ll be able to offer each other a little more grace. And maybe then, we can more fully embrace the ways we are the same. To me, that’s how we can all keep becoming, together.
Growing up, every time I’d come home from school with a story to share, my mother was there with a snack and a listening ear to hear about what was on my mind. When I came home with a tale about my disastrous second-grade classroom, she marched into the school to figure out what was going on. And as I grew older, including up through my years as First Lady, she was always there for me as a guiding light through whatever fog was clouding my path. She’s always listened more than she lectured; observed more than she demonstrated. In doing so, she allowed me to think for myself and develop my own voice. From an early age, she saw that I had a flame inside me, and she never tempered it. She made sure that I could keep it lit. Mom, thank you for kindling that fire within me, and for your example as a mother and a grandmother to our girls. We would never be who we are today without you. #HappyMothersDay, Mom. Love you. ❤️
Hey Atlanta! Before heading to @statefarmarena tonight for the second to last show on my #IAmBecoming tour, I joined students and staff from @spelman_college, @cau1988, and @morehouse1867 to talk about the importance of celebrating our stories—every part of them; every vulnerability, failure, and imperfection. It takes courage to share those parts of our stories, but it couldn’t be more important. Because by embracing our whole truth, we don’t just understand ourselves better, we open ourselves to a better understanding of everyone else’s stories too.
As I begin the final weekend of my #IAmBecoming tour, I joined my friends @honeychildtracy and @michele__norris in Florida to talk about why it's so important to make sure girls know the power in their own stories. Whether as a parent, mentor, teacher, or neighbor, each of us can show them that their voices are valued and respected from a young age—and that can have an extraordinary effect on who they’ll become in the years ahead. When we view their voices as equal, when we truly listen to them and appreciate what they say, they will feel more empowered to share themselves with the rest of the world, too. Organizations like @HoneyShineInc and @OYCMiami are living out this message by giving girls in Florida the tools and platform they need to reach their boundless potential. To the ladies I met with today, never underestimate the power in your own story — I hope you’ll share yours bravely, and help others share theirs, too. It’s how we all keep becoming, together.
With #MothersDay just a couple days away, I find myself thinking a lot about the way my mother raised me. And even though our family was crammed into a tiny apartment, one of the greatest gifts she gave me was the freedom to explore and develop into my own person. For instance, even though we didn’t have much money, she and my dad cobbled enough money together to send me on a high-school trip to Paris, which opened up the world to me in so many ways. And now that I’m raising kids of my own, I wanted to pass that lesson on to my own girls. I’ve been so fortunate to be able to travel with Sasha and Malia all across the country and around the world—experiences my mother never would have dreamed of back when I was their age. But though the settings may be different, the message is the same, and it’s one I hope mothers everywhere pass on to their daughters—in seeking out new perspectives and reaching outside of our comfort zones, we can discover more about ourselves.
As we prepare for #MothersDay on Sunday, I wanted to take a moment to shine a light on those women in our lives who may not be our mothers, but have nonetheless played an important role in nurturing us. I’ve been grateful to be surrounded by so many strong, intelligent, warm-hearted women who, along with my mother, have made me who I am. They include my soft-spoken grandmother LaVaughn, whose work managing a Bible book store showed me some of my first glimpses of a woman in charge. I sparred with my Aunt Robbie, who lived below us, during piano lessons—but her teaching showed me the importance of hard work and preparation, and she was always there for me when I needed her most. My mentor at Princeton, Czerny, saw potential in me and did her part to get me to step outside of my comfort zone—to be a little more bold, a little less cautious. And then there’s Eleanor Kaye Wilson, who we call “Mama Kaye.” She’s sweet-hearted and deep-rooted, a second mother or grandmother for all four of us—Malia, Sasha, Barack, and me. She’s been there to help with mealtime, craft time, been to all of our events over so many years—a wonderful friend and confidant to my mother. We love her, just like we love so many supportive women whose stories and contributions often go unrecognized, but who deserve just as much appreciation and love this time of year. So if there’s a Mama Kaye or a Czerny, a Grandma LaVaughn or an Aunt Robbie in your life, make sure to show them some love this weekend, too.
Through our work together to honor and support military families, I saw what an inspiration Jill Biden is to those around her. Her memoir, “Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself,” is out today—I hope you’ll read it. #WheretheLightEnters
This amazing smile belongs to a young man named Duvall Footman, who I met at #CollegeSigningDay in Los Angeles. Duvall’s already seen his share of adversity—by the time he turned 18, he had lost both of his parents. But he’s made it his goal to do them proud by working hard in school, and he’s set his sights on one day getting a degree in film and television. He currently attends Antelope Valley Community College with plans to continue his education @UCLA next year. Outside of his studies, Duvall plans to continue to mentor young people like him to make sure they know they can pursue their dreams, too. He’s seen the power of belief and resilience in his own life. And today he says: "I know that I have been gifted and favored to overcome every obstacle in my path." All I can say is that I think the world #BetterMakeRoom for Duvall. #ReachHigher
I am so proud of each and every student out there who’s celebrating #CollegeSigningDay and committing to continue their education. I know how hard you worked in all of your classes. I know how much time and care you put into your applications. And I know how many hurdles each of you had to clear to make it to today. So I hope you all are as excited about this day as I am—but I’m even more excited to see what you all do in the years ahead. #BetterMakeRoom
I’m so proud of the next class of #ObamaFellows—civic leaders already working in communities from Hanoi to Nairobi to New Orleans. They’ve brought hope to marginalized communities, helped protect our planet, and empowered women to take charge of change. What they’ve accomplished on their own is remarkable—and now, with the @ObamaFoundation, we’re excited to see what they can learn from each other.
Spring is an exciting time of year for high school seniors. They’ve worked so hard for so long to get to this point, and now they’re making their families and communities proud by graduating. That's why for the past five years, as part of my @reachhigher2020 initiative, I’ve been celebrating these students as a part of #CollegeSigningDay. And on Wednesday, I'll be @UCLA with a few friends to shine a spotlight on some of these amazing students who are investing in themselves through higher education. They include promising young people like Kayla Perez. Kayla's a soon-to-be graduate from El Rancho High School in California and will be the first person in her family to go to college this fall. Not only is she an editor on her school newspaper, captain on the Academic Decathlon team, and fluent in Spanish and Korean, she also works restaurant jobs to help support her family. Kayla’s hard work also helped her save up to study abroad in South Korea last year. I can’t wait to celebrate amazing students like Kayla during #CollegeSigningDay—and I want to hear from the rest of you out there who are going on to college in the fall. Share a photo in your school’s shirt and use #CollegeSigningDay and #BetterMakeRoom!
Happy birthday to my big brother, Craig, who’s always been by my side whenever I’ve needed him. But what I love about Craig is he isn’t just that way around me. He’s always there for my mom, for his wife, and especially for his children. No matter what he’s got going on, he’s always making sure those around him know they’re loved. So today, I want him to know he is, too. Have a great day, @craigmalrob!
I will never forget the first time I walked into the Notre Dame Cathedral. I was a teenager on a school trip to Paris. It was my very first international trip, and until then, I hadn’t seen much outside of the South Side neighborhood I grew up in. But the majesty of Notre Dame—the history, the artistry, the spirituality—took my breath away. The feeling was almost indescribable—a place that lifts you to a higher understanding of who we are and who we can be. Every time I’ve visited in the years since, including as First Lady, I felt the same thing. So being here in Paris tonight, my heart aches with the people of France. Yet I know that the Notre Dame I experienced all those years ago, as so many others have over the centuries, will soon awe us again.
I’m traveling in Europe right now for my #IAmBecoming tour and my brother just sent me one of the best texts I’ve ever received. My father gave us absolutely everything. The laughs and lessons, the hugs, the heartache from losing him—they’re all still there with me, every minute. Each of us has our own perspectives and emotions; our own journeys in the moment and in the years since. And that’s why it’s so important to share our stories with each other—not just to remember, but to connect. Even an ocean away. Love you, big brother. ❤️
I’m so thrilled to be in Europe this week! We kicked off our trip in Copenhagen, tonight we’re in Stockholm, and we’ll also make our way to Oslo, London, Paris, and Amsterdam. I’m so excited to visit these beautiful cities and can’t wait to hear the inspiring stories from so many new faces. And I want to keep hearing from all of you! What questions do you have? Share in the comments below.👇🏾#IAmBecoming
For as long as I can remember, my big brother Craig has always had my back. He's still one of my best friends today. Thanks for always coming out swinging for me, Craig! #NationalSiblingsDay
As you’ve seen, I’ve been highlighting amazing young people during #BlackHistoryMonth and #WomensHistoryMonth. And now that we’re in April, I realized I have so many more stories to share—so why not keep it going? Let me introduce you to 18-year-old Hannah Bajakian. I first met Hannah at the 2015 White House Mother’s Day Tea when she was an 8th grader from Ft. Drum, New York. She’d written to me about her dad, a lieutenant colonel in the Army, and all the service and sacrifice that comes with being a kid from a military family — moving to new schools, leaving friends, and witnessing her family's daily strength and perseverance while her father battled cancer and served through multiple deployments. But as I’ve seen so many times, kids growing up in military families develop the most incredible skills of resilience, integrity, and commitment to something larger than themselves. Now a high school senior, Hannah is valedictorian of her class. She played a lead role in her school’s production of Mamma Mia. And a few weeks ago, she was accepted to West Point, carrying on the family tradition of service to our country. I’m so proud of the woman Hannah is becoming and I can’t wait to see everything she accomplishes in the years ahead. #IAmBecoming #FlashbackFriday #ReachHigher
Valerie was one of my earliest, and best, role models for how to be a confident woman and mother in the workplace. She helped me while I was #FindingMyVoice, and I'm so proud to see @valeriebjarrett helping others find and use their own voices.
When it comes to being a voter, there’s no such thing as an "off” year. Throughout 2019, voters in states and cities all across the country will head to the polls to make important decisions that will affect our communities—and tomorrow is one of those big election days. So whether your community is voting Tuesday or sometime later this year, I hope you’ll join me and @WhenWeAllVote in making sure our friends, family, and neighbors are ready to make their voices heard. Get started at whenweallvote.org. #WhenWeAllVote
Congratulations to my amazing and extraordinarily talented friend, @ritawilson, on being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! From your first star turn on The Brady Bunch, to producing your mega hits My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mamma Mia, you are a true Hollywood legend.
I met Charisma Quiroz when I visited the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona last month. She’s a first-generation college sophomore at the University of Arizona studying political science and environmental science. In addition to working hard in her classes, Charisma is involved with a program on campus that offers support to first-generation college students. After graduation, Charisma plans to bring her knowledge back to her tribe by focusing on agriculture and water rights in her community. She also wants to help other young people on tribal lands pursue higher education. Charisma is a terrific example of what happens when we invest in young women—they pay it forward with investments of their own. Thanks for letting me share these inspiring stories with you during #WomensHistoryMonth! Do you know a young person who's changing their community? I want to hear about them — please share their story below! #IamBecoming #FlashbackFriday #ReachHigher
What does it take to be a #BalancedBlackGirl? As I discussed with @balancedles at her #IAmBecoming book club meeting, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. For me, a big part of achieving balance is being connected to a community of women—soul sisters who are always there to lean on, and with whom I can just kick off my shoes and be myself. I'm talking about the kind of friends who are always there to lift me up, affirm me for who I am, and remind me that in order to do any good for anyone else, I’ve got to be good to myself and practice #SelfCare. What does being a #BalancedBlackGirl mean to you? I can’t wait to hear your answers!
Over the years, I’ve developed a real connection with a couple of girls’ schools in London. I see myself in these girls, and always have since I first visited the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in 2009. One of these young women is Nusrath Hassan. I first met Nusrath in 2009 and we caught up again last year when I visited London for my book tour. Today, she's about to graduate from law school, and she’s been fighting for women’s rights in the community she grew up and around the world. I am so proud of Nusrath—she’s using her voice not just to benefit herself, but to lift up girls everywhere. #IAmBecoming #WomensHistoryMonth #FlashbackFriday
Today I stopped by one of Portland's locally-owned bookstores, @BroadwayBooks, and spent time with a group of young professional women who are juggling careers, relationships, and children, and trying to find a little time for themselves too. We talked about the importance of self-care and finding a group of women to support us through all our ups and downs as we try to manage our chaotic lives. And you don’t have to be here in Portland to take part in this conversation—let me know what you and your book clubs have been discussing! #IAmBecoming
There’s never a dull moment with you, Conan. Thanks for the laughs! Listen in at https://apple.co/TeamCoco. #IAmBecoming
We’re halfway through #WomensHistoryMonth, and today I’m highlighting one of our country’s incredible military spouses—Kiesha Yokers, who came to my show in New York City in December with @bluestarfamilies. She’s a mother to two beautiful children. She’s a Navy wife. She’s an advocate for adoption. And she’s passionate about helping women of color build healthier lives. Like so many military spouses, she’s got a lot on her plate. After years of moving around the world with her Naval husband, Keisha stopped teaching elementary school to raise her two children. Soon enough, she decided to change her career path. Kiesha took the leap and started @greenandwellbeauty with the desire to see women of color live longer, healthier lives. It's become an inspiring and safe place to talk about issues close to Kiesha’s heart. Do you have a "swerve moment" that changed your path in life? Share in the comments below! #IAmBecoming
While in Milwaukee, my friend Conan O’Brien and I surprised some high school juniors from across the city who were meeting with @reachhigher2020 to talk about their college dreams. We told them how proud we are of them, and we reminded them that so many people have their backs! To the incredible young people out there, don't forget that I'm rooting for you every step of the way. I can't wait to see what you achieve! #ReachHigher
Still dancing at 110 years old—happy birthday, Virginia!
This beautiful smile belongs to Eliakunda Kaaya. I sat down with her and several of her peers for a conversation on girls' education last fall. Eliakunda comes from a family of nine children in Tanzania. She once said, "My own brothers would say… that it was a waste of time and waste of investment to…[send] me to school, because a woman is meant to be married.” But Eliakunda never believed that. She became the first person in her family to go to high school—and then the first to go to college. After she graduated she became a @ShesTheFirst Fellow and she launched a project called "Her Journey to School,” which builds on her own experience by reaching out to parents about the importance of sending their daughters to school. Eliakunda's story shows us the power of education—and the promise inside every single girl around the world. #InternationalWomensDay
Few things in life inspire me like young people taking action. This week, I visited with the #ObamaScholars, who have spent the past few days connecting and learning together in D.C. Already, they’re making profound differences in their home countries, from expanding peacebuilding operations in Colombia to fighting for gender rights and marginalized communities in Pakistan. Now, through the @ObamaFoundation, the University of Chicago, and Columbia University, they’re taking their work to the next level with a world-class education. The work they are doing is remarkable, and the best resource they have is each other—because work like this is impossible in isolation. I know that in the years ahead, these young leaders will make their communities better, and in turn, that makes the world a little brighter for all of us.
Looking forward to sitting down with a few of my friends! #IAmBecoming