Hail to our First Lady!!!!
You’ve just got to love her-our First Lady, Michelle Obama. She conducts herself in a down-to-earth manner and appears to be someone that you can comfortably talk to. Even in her high profile position, Michelle seems to genuinely care about people and the causes that she has aligned herself with.
On November 4, 2008, I along with many Americans happily embraced the election of Barack Obama to be our 44th President. Because of the historicity of this event, the expectations for hope and change were highly anticipated and welcomed. Over a year later, I am still proud of our first African-American President. But I have also been highly impressed with the quiet confidence shown by Our First Lady, Michelle Obama. All along she says she considers her main role as Mom-In-Chief. Her primary goal was to be sure that her two daughters, Sasha and Malia adapted well to the changes in their family life. When she talks about her daughters, you can almost see a twinkle in her eyes. It is quite obvious that she relishes being their mother and doing what is best for them. One of her top priorities in the transitioning process was to ensure that her children adapted well while under the public glare and the never-ending critiquing of her husband and herself. By all accounts and by her own admission they seem to have had a good measure of success. Though not often seen in public, the few times you see them they appear to be well-mannered, well-behaved and intelligent young girls. Both Mrs. Obama and the President readily admit that while being the official residents of the White House they have had more quality time together as a family. That in itself is monumental.
Now that this important issue has been realized she seems free to turn her attention to other matters that she considers important. The repertoire of events that she has been a part of for the past year are almost mind-boggling. So often the role of the First Lady has seemingly been somewhat miniscule or obscure at best. To me, she has definitely given the position a much needed boost of purpose and definition. It catches your attention. Some of her accomplishments have been as follows:
Just a month after the Inauguration she invited 180 children into the White House. They were treated to an acapella performance by an all-female African-America choir. By hosting children at the White House, she believes they see what the People’s House looks like and some of the things that go on there.
She has often gone to schools and community centers, reading and encouraging students in their academic endeavors.
On April 9, 2009 she invited students from Bancroft Elementary School to assist in planting the White House Vegetable Garden. Tom Vilsack, the Agriculture Secretary was also in attendance. It had been many years since there had been a working garden on the premises. The White House Chef utilizes these vegetables for the First Family’s meals.
On April 28, 2009 students from the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta performed at the unveiling of the Sojourner Truth bust at the U.S. Capitol. These young people made up a rather unique song during the 2008 Presidential campaign. It stressed the importance of utilizing the right that we as American citizens have to vote.
On April 29, 2009 The First Lady and Congressional spouses volunteered at the Capitol City Food Bank in Washington, DC.
On April 30, 2009 she met with the hostesses at the Yearly Congressional Club Luncheon at the Washington Hilton Hotel.
May 1, 2009 – Mrs. Obama attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the New American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
May 4, 2009- she attended the LAMB bilingual school as a prelude to the Cinco De Mayo holiday celebration festivities.
On May 12, 2009 she attended a Conference with Communities in schools board members at the Ferbee-Hope Elementary School in Washington, DC. She later talked with some of the students.
May 16, 2009 – she attended the commencement exercises for the first four-year graduating class at the University of California in Merced, CA. These graduates went to extreme measures to be certain that she be their main speaker.
June 22, 2009 Community Service — she encouraged Americans to make community service a part of their lives at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service as part of the United We Serve Campaign. She collaborated with Maria Shriver, the First Lady of California and local volunteers in helping to build a playground at a San Francisco school.
On November 2, 2009 she had about twenty-four 10th and 11th grade girls as guests of the White House. This was the start of the First Lady’s Leadership and Mentoring initiative. She states, “Mentoring has been something that has been important to me forever. The one thing I knew I wanted to do was to use this platform as First Lady to expand the mentoring role:”
Students come from public and private schools in the Washington, DC and surrounding areas. Some participants were also selected from several military families.
Each young woman is paired with a female White House staffer. They meet on a monthly basis. Mrs. Obama will oversee the overall program, but not have a particular girl to mentor. It is her hope that these women learn basic skills that will take them further and successfully in life. Occasionally some of the mentees may be able to attend different public events.
Mrs. Obama intends to institute a similar program for young men in the future.
Kings Holiday – Feeding homeless in Washington, DC at Miriam’s Kitchen, which is a soup kitchen.
January 26, 2010 – Michelle announces more funding for military families. This announcement was made during a speech before the Joint Armed Forces Officers Wives Club at Bolling AFB. She also visited soldiers and their families and volunteers at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. This is a cause that she is extremely passionate about.
On January 28, 2010 Michelle Obama kicked off her campaign to address the issue of childhood obesity at a YMCA in Alexandria, VA. Also in attendance at this event were Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Dr. Judith Palfrey, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Her purpose is four-fold:
1. improve and upgrade nutrition and physical education in schools
2. encourage ongoing physical activity such as walking and biking on a regular basis
3. make healthy food available, especially in low income urban areas
4. make nutritional information on our food labels easier to understand
Her belief is that even in our busy lives there are a number of things that we can do to fight obesity among our youth. She knows this cannot be a solo effort. Help and support will come from parents, doctors, nurses, adults, athletes, entertainers and different organizations.
Imagine her delight when she became aware of what Chef Smith, Oprah Winfrey’s former chef asked for his 50th birthday. When questioned by Oprah initially he requested a treadmill. Oprah told him to think bigger. After pondering for a while he asked for a check to help fund a healthy eating program for children. Winfrey, without hesitation obliged and will donate $250,000 to his Common Threads nonprofit initiative. It will be used to help educate children on healthier eating. Being a recent convert of weight loss by losing 90 pounds, he understands first-hand the importance of conquering the obesity giant. This was a way for him to further the efforts he sees being done by the First Lady. That is just one example of what people can do when rallying around a common cause.
A website that has been put out with more information on Mrs. Obama’s and others efforts can be found at www.letsmove.gov
You cam be sure that our First Lady isn’t one who lets grass grow under her feet. She chooses not to just sit around and add to the problems of our country. Her efforts are contributing to some of its solutions. By her actions she is setting a good example for so many in our nation and around the world.
Michelle Obama, isn’t an individual who just talks the talk, but rather one who walks the talk. I salute her efforts for a job well done!!! I can only imagine what else she has in store.