michelle obama

michelle obama

Michelle Obama Tells Graduates to Keep Trying, No Matter What

The commencement speaker at my school’s graduation this year was U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He delivered a very entertaining and thought-provoking speech, but when I heard that Michelle Obama delivered the commencement speech at Spelman College, I could not help but feel a little bit jealous.

On May 14, 2011, Michelle delivered the commencement speech at the traditionally black women’s college in Atlanta, Georgia. In her speech, Michelle discussed important historical events in the school’s past and mentioned many famous almuni members, such as LaTanya Richardson, Eva Rutland, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Alberta Williams King. In her speech, Michelle warned the graduating seniors that their education is not something they should take for granted nor is it a “gift with which you can do whatever you please. [Instead,] it is a commitment that comes with a certain set of obligations, obligations that don’t end when you march through that arch today.”

In my opinion, one of the most inspiring parts of Michelle’s speech was when she told the graduates how to respond to those who tried to hold them back from their dreams.

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Fuel Up to Play 60 Encourages Schools and Students to Beat Obesity

For the second year, Fuel Up to Play 60 is corralling students, schools and parents to take daily steps to healthy up their lives and combat childhood obesity.

The funding initiative provides money to help schools jump-start and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements. Any U.S. school, K – 12, can enroll in the free program and thus be eligible to apply for up to $3,000 to help increase awareness of and access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity opportunities for students. Read the rest of this entry »

Forbes Releases World’s Most Powerful Women List

michelle obamaWomen have come a long way since 1920 when they were first given the right to vote in American elections. Now, 90 years later, women across the country are heavily influencing the world’s politics, economy and social development.

In an effort to keep you motivated to study hard and pursue your dreams, here is a list of Forbes World’s Most Powerful Women.

Some of them might surprise you and also take note how many Americans are on the list!

1.    Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States
2.    Irene Rosenfeld, Chief Executive of Kraft Foods
3.    Oprah Winfrey, Talk show host and media mogul
4.    Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
5.    Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States
6.    Indra Nooyi, Chief Executive of PepsiCo Read the rest of this entry »

First Book Combats American Childhood Illiteracy

first bookIlliteracy is a terrible problem in the US, a place where everyone should learn to read in public schools. Michelle Obama recently announced her plan to help students maintain what they have already learned throughout the summer, but another contributing cause to the problem is that 80 percent of preschools and after-school programs – the places where many children learn to read – do not have age-appropriate books for students to practice reading.

How can we expect anyone to learn to read if they do not have the appropriate materials?

That’s the question that plagued Kyle Zimmer in 1994. Zimmer worked as a corporate lawyer during the day, and spent her evenings tutoring inner-city children at a soup kitchen in the Washington D.C. area. Zimmer was deeply upset by the fact that the children she was tutoring were unable to read at an age-appropriate level because they simply did not have any books to read.

Sadly enough, in low-income populations, there is only one age-appropriate book for every 300 children. After seeing the difference that providing children with the correct literary materials, Zimmer decided to quit her day job, joined forces with two friends, and created First Book.

First Book is a nonprofit organization that “provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books.”

First Book accepts monetary donations from across the country, and then provides students with brand new books to read. Every $2.00 donation allows First Book to purchase a new book and give it to a child in need. Since First Book was founded in 1994, they have distributed more than 65 million books to students across the country and in Canada.

“Access to books and educational material is the single biggest barrier to literacy development in the United States and beyond,” said Susan B. Neuman, a member of the Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement. “If we can solve the problem of access, we will be well on the road to realizing educational parity – a goal which has eluded this country for generations.”

If you would like to make a donation to First Book to help combat childhood illiteracy, please visit the First Book website.

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Michelle Obama Targets Summer Learning Loss, Childhood Obesity

Lets read lets moveSchools out for summer and across America kids are dreaming of ice cream trucks and afternoon snacks of junk food binges.

So naturally, our nation’s leaders are nervous about the tendency of education backslide and the natural plunge into awful eating habits. Especially since reports have shown that an estimated one-third of American children are overweight or obese.

As a result, first lady Michelle Obama, an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, collaborated on a new campaign to undertake childhood obesity, specifically targeting summer break.

Members of the Obama cabinet joined her in unveiling the administration’s “Lets Read. Lets Move.” campaign. In cooperation with the Corporation for National and Community Service, the project’s goal is to encourage continued reading (specifically the program aims for children to read five books during summer vacation), exercise frequently and a maintain healthy lifestyle. Read the rest of this entry »

President Obama’s Commencement Speech Schedule for 2010

Image Via Zimbio.com

Image Via Zimbio.com

The school year is finally winding down. For many seniors, commencement is at the front of their minds (after finals and job hunting, of course). Usually, the most memorable thing about a commencement ceremony is the speaker. Last year, President Obama gave several commencement speeches on college campuses. At the University of Notre Dame, the president was greeted with outrage due to his pro-choice stance on abortion.

This year, President Obama plans to give commencement speeches at colleges across the country.

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Michelle Obama to Celebrate Sesame Street’s 40th Anniversary

Tuesday, November 10 the newest season of Sesame Street will premiere, with an anxious audience of pre-school aged children ready to sing, dance and learn.

What makes this premiere so special is that it marks the 40th anniversary of this iconic children’s show.

michelle obama sesame streetTo really give this milestone the attention it deserves, first lady Michelle Obama will make a guest appearance, sharing her love of vegetables with the neighborhood.

It’s a fitting segment, as she introduced the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt. In the segment, she’s going to show four children how planting seeds in the ground will yield fresh, healthy produce like tomatoes, lettuce and carrots. Just last week it was announced that Michelle Obama is adding childhood obesity to her issues of interest, and there’s no better way to help curb that than by introducing the value of fresh vegetables to young eaters.

The first lady will be competing for air space alongside the featured letter “H” and counting to 40 by 10s. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrity Commencement Speeches for the Class of 2009

In stadiums and auditoriums across the country, graduates are joining for the pomp and circumstance that grants them their hard-earned degrees.

President Obama at the Naval Academy commencement. via Chicago Tribune

President Obama at the Naval Academy commencement. via Chicago Tribune

Much like the hours spent in lecture halls, graduates must wait through just a couple more speeches before their caps are tossed to the air and their diplomas rightly earned. Every graduation has a guest speaker, some more memorable than others. For the class of 2009 at many notable colleges and universities, these famous commencement speakers are certain to be a memorable closing to their college careers.

President Barack Obama
The President spoke at Notre Dame, U.S. Naval Academy, and Arizona State University, where he implored the graduates to see our troubled economy as an opportunity, not a hurdle. “I know starting your career in troubled times is a challenge. But it is also a privilege. Because it is moments like these that force us to try harder, dig deeper, to discover gifts we never knew we had – to find the greatness that lies within each of us.”

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Michelle Obama Kicks-off Women’s History Month in D.C. Schools

First Lady Michelle Obama has long hoped to gather an “amazing group of women” to help inspire young people to do well in school to prosper as adults. She had her chance this week as she visited Anacostia High School in the capital, a struggling school in a poor D.C. neighborhood, and 21 other famous women visited schools around the country.

Michelle Obama at Anacostia High School (via New York Times)

Mrs. Obama recruited the likes of Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, Alfre Woodard, Bobbi Brown, as well as former astronaut Mae Jemison and the Army’s first female four-star general, Gen. Ann Dunwoody, to participate in this Women’s History Month initiative at both public and private schools. Read the rest of this entry »

First Lady Gives Pep Talk to Department of Education

On February 2, First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Department of Education to give employees a pep talk.  She praised new Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and said that she herself was a product of the department’s work.

Here’s what the First Lady had to say.


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