Michelle Obama Delivers Final Speech as First Lady: ‘I Hope That I’ve Made You Proud’


She’ll be missed. First Lady Michelle Obama delivered her final White House address on Friday, January 6, at an event honoring the 2017 School Counselor of the Year.

“We’re almost at the end,” she told the crowd of her husband Barack Obama’s presidency. “May I say for the last time officially: Welcome to the White House!’

First lady Michelle Obama smiles as she speaks at the 2017 School Counselor of the Year ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
First lady Michelle Obama smiles as she speaks at the 2017 School Counselor of the Year ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The FLOTUS, 52, quickly became emotional about her time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue coming to a close. “This country belongs to you, to all of you, from every background and walk of life. If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition, the infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas,” she said. “If your family doesn’t have much money, I want you to remember that in this country, plenty of folks — including me and my husband — we started out with very little. With a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is possible — even becoming president.”

The Chicago native celebrated America’s diversity in her speech. “Our glorious diversity — our diversity in faiths and colors and creeds — that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are,” she said.

She also used the opportunity to encourage young people to seek higher education, which has been one the causes she championed as first lady. “I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong,” she said. “So don’t be afraid. You hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourself with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear.”

Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a ceremony honoring the 2017 School Counselor of the Year in the East Room of the White House January 6, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a ceremony honoring the 2017 School Counselor of the Year in the East Room of the White House January 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Her voice broke several times as she concluded her speech to a standing ovation. “Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope that I’ve made you proud,” she said.

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