Daily Archives: May 26, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Wayne State University in Detroit

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Kori Schulman

“There Is A Brighter, Better Future Ahead”

Yesterday Mrs. Obama took the White House youth leadership and mentoring efforts on the road to Detroit, Michigan. The First Lady’s visit, in partnership with Michigan’s First Gentleman Daniel Mulhern, was designed to engage, encourage, and inspire the city’s young people. Leaders from across the country came along to encourage kids to dream big – mentors included: Governor Granholm; Cathie Black, CEO of Hearst Magazines; Susan Taylor, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Essence Magazine and Founder, National CARES Mentoring Movement; Spike Lee, Actor and Director; and Magic Johnson, Basketball Player, to name a few.

In her remarks at Wayne State University, Mrs. Obama discussed the potential of the city’s youth:

So our next chapter –- Detroit’s next chapter, Michigan’s next chapter, America’s next chapter –- is waiting to be written.

And it will be written by each and every one of you, because your future, your city’s future, this country’s future will look exactly like what each of you wants it to look like. And that’s what I believe. And that’s why I am here. Young people, I am asking you to embrace that responsibility to be our future.

Remarks by the First Lady at Detroit Mentoring Luncheon

Remarks by the First Lady at Student Form in Detroit

Students listen to First Lady Michelle Obama during a mentoring luncheon at the Detroit Institute of Art in Detroit, Mich. May 26, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Later that day, at a mentoring luncheon, the First Lady emphasized the importance of hardwork and support:

What we all know in our lives and through our experiences is that there’s no magic dust that is sprinkled on us that gives us success. There’s no magic to this. There are no shortcuts, there are no quick fixes. None of us was born with the knowledge that we have today, the skills or the talents that we have today. Some, maybe. You’ve got your special people that were just born crazy talented or crazy smart, but it wasn’t me, or the President, for that matter. All these folks here developed those things through hard work.

Governor Granholm wasn’t born knowing how to run a state; probably never thought she’d be doing it. Magic Johnson didn’t know how to always — did you always know how to dribble? (Laughter.) Maybe you did. Maybe you were one of the ones. But you didn’t always know how to run your own business, right? So, Susan Taylor’s magazine didn’t just publish itself — Essence, one of my favorites. These achievements took effort and struggle, late nights and long hours. And all these folks practiced and practiced, and then practiced a little more, to get those promotions, to win those elections, and to hit those notes just right.

When people doubted them, or told them they couldn’t do something, they worked a little harder. When they were scared or worried — and let me tell you, we all have been worried that we just wouldn’t measure up — they all found a way to keep going. When they fell short or failed — and failure is a part of success, it’s a necessary part of success — they didn’t let that defeat them. They let it teach them.

And all along, they found people in their lives to guide them: parents, and grandparents, teachers, coaches, friends who believed in them, who encouraged them and refused to give up on them even when they wanted to give up on themselves.

To have a more concrete impact on local students, the First Lady launched the White House leadership and mentoring initiative in the fall and visited Denver, Colorado in an effort to take the message nationwide. The idea isn’t just to create a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for just a few, but to encourage more adults to step up, volunteer their time, and make mentoring a lifelong habit.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Kicks Off Let’s Move South Lawn Series

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Melissa Blaustein

First Lady Michelle Obama works out with Washington area students on the South Lawn of the White House on May 25, 2010 in Washington, DC. The first lady kicked of the first in a South Lawn series of summer activities for kids. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)

This afternoon the First Lady welcomed nearly 100 local students to the White House to kick off the South Lawn Series – events throughout the summer season to bring local children, sports leagues, community programs and coaches to the South Lawn to participate in sports, games and activities. Today’s event featured sports trainers from the Washington Redskins, Capitals, Nationals and Wizards as well as PE teachers from DC Public schools who demonstrated ways for kids to get 60 minutes of active play per day. The First Lady, alongside Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, moved too – taking part in obstacle courses, knee lifts and running drills.

The Series is in support of Let’s Move! – the First Lady’s initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation.  In remarks to the very first group of participants,  the First Lady stressed the importance of getting in at least 60 minutes of exercise, not just at the White House today, but everyday:

You know, there’s a report out that says kids should get no less than 60 minutes of exercise every single day.  And around the country we just got a report that shows that in states across the country, a lot of kids aren’t coming close.  They’re not getting just what they need.  And it’s hard if your schools don’t have P.E. and gym, right?

If you can’t do it at school, if you don’t live in a community where you have sports teams and things like that, if you can’t play outside because neighborhoods aren’t safe, right, so your parents want to keep you inside, if you’re watching too much TV and playing too many computer games — (laughter) — sometimes that cuts into your ability to move.

And went on to explain that the series isn’t just to get kids moving on the lawn, but will hopefully inspire lots of children to get active in their own backyards:

And this series that we’re doing on the South Lawn is really to encourage kids, because we got this press all behind you, and they’re going to show you guys on TV, and there are going to be a lot of kids going, how do I do that?  You know, how do I get moving like that?  They’re at the White House moving.  Maybe I can do this in my own back yard, in my own community.

So you guys are going to be the first example this summer of really encouraging kids to move.  But we are going to need you, not just here today, but you’re going to have to go home and take some of what you’ve learned here and teach your families and folks — the other kids in your schools who haven’t had a chance to come, and figure out how you guys can get other people in your lives moving. Can you promise me that you’ll help me on this?


MRS. OBAMA:  You promise?

The White House Visitors Office, the Office of Public Engagement, and the First Lady’s office will continue to invite local Sports leagues, community programs and students to the White House throughout the summer to participate in the South Lawn Series and engage them in the Let’s Move! campaign.

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Filed under Childhood Obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama, Students, Uncategorized