We’re creeping closer and closer to the end of an era: now, Michelle Obama has bid an early farewell to the White House in her final speech as First Lady. Spoiler alert: it’s going to hit you right in the feels.
An East Room ceremony honouring the 2017 school counsellor of the year, and the work of all school counsellors, marked her final event as first lady.
She touched upon many of the issues that she was worked closely on during her tenure as First Lady. She urged children to get the best education they can and then use it to “lead by example with hope, never fear”.
The First Lady also praised the “glorious diversity” of people of all faiths, colours and creeds in America as “not a threat to who we are” but as what “makes us who we are”. The comment seemed a rebuke of President-elect Donald Trump, who criticised Mexicans, Muslims and others throughout his presidential campaign.
“To the young people out there, do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter or like you don’t have a place in our American story, because you do,” Ms Obama said. “And you have a right to be exactly who you are.”
She urged them to get ready to add their voices to the national conversation and “stand up for our proud American values”.
“Being your First Lady has been the greatest honour of my life, and I hope I’ve made you proud,” Ms Obama said.
Her efforts as FLOTUS have hardly gone unnoticed, and many people were quick to acknowledge her work.
The First Lady has said she will continue, after she and her husband leave on January 20, to work on issues she championed as FLOTUS. They include education, fighting childhood obesity and support for military families.