Though she will forever be remembered in history as the first African-American First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama is an amazing woman in her own right. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, she is a graduate of two Ivy League schools, Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Michelle Obama started her career in law at the Sidley Austin law firm where she met her husband, the future (now former) 44th President of the United States. Assisting in his successful campaigns, she delivered the keynote address at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Democratic National Conventions each time receiving thunderous applause and critical acclaim.
As a child, Obama was deeply affected by her father’s struggle with multiple sclerosis. She made up her mind to succeed for his sake and excelled in school attending Whitney Young High School, Chicago’s first magnet school for gifted students before going on to the ivy league. After graduating with honors from law school, Michelle held positions at Sidley & Austin and served as an Assistant to the Mayor, Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development, and Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies. She also served as Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago and Executive Director for Community Affairs for the University of Chicago Hospitals.
Michelle Obama has made her own mark on the political arena. Following her husband’s election to the presidency, she tackled issues affecting future generations such as her Let’s Move initiative aimed at ending childhood obesity which can lead to lifelong weight and health issues. Her passion for this cause is clear and compelling. She states, “The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake. This isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved overnight, but with everyone working together, it can be solved. So, let’s move.”
A staunch defender of equal rights for all, she supports the LGBTQ community, traveled to Selma, Alabama to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Selma, and attended the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in California. She fights and advocates for civil rights for people of all races, genders, and nationalities. Her husband’s presidency and her own exemplary service as the First Lady has made Michelle Obama a prominent and sought after national spokesperson for the causes she supports. Among them are Be the Change, Healthy Child Healthy World, Joining Forces, and PeacePlayers International.
Long before fame catapulted Obama to the national stage, she made the decision to devote her life’s work to helping people serve their communities and meet the needs of their neighbors. Working to create a generation of children with a healthy present and prepare them for a healthy future, she is doing just what she set out to do – changing the world. Her Reach Higher Initiative inspires American youth to command their future by completing their education. Her Let Girls Learn initiative makes it possible for young girls around the world go to attend school. She says, “Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.”