Girl from the South Side and former First Lady. Wife, mother, dog lover. Always hugger-in-chief. #IAmBecoming
Girl from the South Side and former First Lady. Wife, mother, dog lover. Always hugger-in-chief. #IAmBecoming
This is Darius Wesley, who I first met at a #BeatingTheOdds Summit back in 2014. Back then, he’d just graduated from North Lawndale College Prep in my hometown of Chicago. Growing up on the west side of the city, Darius lost friends and family members to violence and drugs. In high school, he was forced to uproot his life when his mother faced a series of health issues. At times, Darius told me, he just wanted to give up. But he didn’t. He couldn’t. It’s not who he is. Five years later, he’s channeled the lessons he learned while overcoming those obstacles into a marketing degree at Cleveland State University—becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college. I could not be prouder of this young man. Looking back, Darius said, "I appreciate those challenges-–they caused me to reach back and remember the support system that I have in the back of my pocket. All of the teachers and coaches that believe in me as a player, as a student, as a person. My mother, sisters, and brothers are all looking for me to just do better." Next Tuesday, Darius will once again join me in DC for our 5th anniversary #BeatingTheOdds Summit with @ReachHigher2020 —one of the most inspiring days of the year. And in the meantime, I want to hear from all of you: Who's a young person in your life who is #BeatingTheOdds? Share their stories with me in the comments below. #ReachHigher
Wishing a wonderful birthday to @Malala ! When I first met Malala a few years back, I was blown away by her eloquence and her conviction to stand up for girls just like her in every corner of the globe. That conversation helped inspire me to focus more deeply on girls’ education around the world. Right now, there are tens of millions of girls who are not in school—girls who are bright, hardworking, and hungry to learn. To celebrate #MalalaDay, join me and @GirlsOpportunityAlliance in our work to empower girls in countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. I hope you'll head over to the link in my bio to learn more and get involved.
At the Women’s World Cup, we saw how sports can focus, inspire, and elevate us all. Thuba Sibanda is an @ObamaFoundation leader who’s using sports to empower girls in Namibia every single day. You can support leaders like Thuba through the @GirlsOpportunityAlliance , and I hope you do. Check out the link in my bio to learn more and get involved.
I was lucky enough to share a few moments with Cameron Boyce—on set, at the White House, and on a service project—enough time to recognize that not only did he have incredible talent, but also an incredible heart. Sending out a lot of love and hugs to his family, friends, and his many, many fans.
One thing I keep hearing from women across the country is how hard it is for us to put ourselves first. We're the first to care for our friends, families, coworkers, but we are last on our own list. The good news is we can make a change. I’ve seen it in my own life. And that starts with all of us as women searching within ourselves and our stories—and sharing what we’ve learned with one another. So I want to hear from you! What do you do to make yourself more of a priority?
Hey, #EssenceFest! I brought a few of my girlfriends with me to New Orleans and we can't wait to join you tonight in the Superdome. Who's ready?!
Pretty grateful for this guy. Happy Father’s Day!
I love this photo of my father because it shows so much of his presence—his strength, his poise, and yes, his style. My dad was pretty cool. He was proud and warm with a smooth baritone voice and ready laugh. He was also quite punctual, as you can see from his wristwatch suntan. But I also love this photo because its imperfections capture a lot about what it’s like for me to think about him today. This snapshot is a reminder that all memories are somewhat incomplete, a photographic representation that my time with him was cut short. And that’s ok—that’s life. And that’s why, today and every day, I’m grateful for all of it: for every imperfect photograph, for every incomplete memory, and for the many wonderful, beautiful years I had to learn and love — and be loved by — my father. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you and I’ll love you forever.
Chicago is the city that taught me what it means to give back. I was a few years into my career when I decided to leave my law firm, diving into city government and nonprofit work. Over the years, I ended up visiting parts of the city I hadn’t been to before, spending time with elderly residents, supporting promising young leaders, and working to bridge the divide between a hospital and the community it served. It was all so inspiring and motivating—some of the work I’m most proud of to this day—and it gave me skills and lessons that I’m still applying every day. That’s why I was so thrilled to hear about this week's first-ever Civic Action Awards, where the @ObamaFoundation and @ChiPubSchools honored those who’ve made a powerful impact inside and outside of school. Congratulations to all the winners—and it’s great to see so many of you getting an earlier start than me!
At the end of this extraordinary #IAmBecoming tour, I want to say thank you to all of you who’ve been a part of this journey. Thanks for what you do every day—for doing the right thing; for living with honesty and compassion. It’s up to us to stay hopeful for the next generation. #MondayMotivation
People don’t get to where they are if they go at it alone. Last week, I met the new class of #ObamaFellows—20 leaders from around the world who are doing the type of work that will create a better future for all of us. We talked about what keeps us going and how important it is to have help along the way. With support from the @ObamaFoundation —and each other—our hope is that these Fellows will continue to grow and expand their work, changing the world for generations to come.
Growing up, every time I’d come home from school with a story to share, my mother was there with a snack and a listening ear to hear about what was on my mind. When I came home with a tale about my disastrous second-grade classroom, she marched into the school to figure out what was going on. And as I grew older, including up through my years as First Lady, she was always there for me as a guiding light through whatever fog was clouding my path. She’s always listened more than she lectured; observed more than she demonstrated. In doing so, she allowed me to think for myself and develop my own voice. From an early age, she saw that I had a flame inside me, and she never tempered it. She made sure that I could keep it lit. Mom, thank you for kindling that fire within me, and for your example as a mother and a grandmother to our girls. We would never be who we are today without you. #HappyMothersDay, Mom. Love you. ❤️
With #MothersDay just a couple days away, I find myself thinking a lot about the way my mother raised me. And even though our family was crammed into a tiny apartment, one of the greatest gifts she gave me was the freedom to explore and develop into my own person. For instance, even though we didn’t have much money, she and my dad cobbled enough money together to send me on a high-school trip to Paris, which opened up the world to me in so many ways. And now that I’m raising kids of my own, I wanted to pass that lesson on to my own girls. I’ve been so fortunate to be able to travel with Sasha and Malia all across the country and around the world—experiences my mother never would have dreamed of back when I was their age. But though the settings may be different, the message is the same, and it’s one I hope mothers everywhere pass on to their daughters—in seeking out new perspectives and reaching outside of our comfort zones, we can discover more about ourselves.
As we prepare for #MothersDay on Sunday, I wanted to take a moment to shine a light on those women in our lives who may not be our mothers, but have nonetheless played an important role in nurturing us. I’ve been grateful to be surrounded by so many strong, intelligent, warm-hearted women who, along with my mother, have made me who I am. They include my soft-spoken grandmother LaVaughn, whose work managing a Bible book store showed me some of my first glimpses of a woman in charge. I sparred with my Aunt Robbie, who lived below us, during piano lessons—but her teaching showed me the importance of hard work and preparation, and she was always there for me when I needed her most. My mentor at Princeton, Czerny, saw potential in me and did her part to get me to step outside of my comfort zone—to be a little more bold, a little less cautious. And then there’s Eleanor Kaye Wilson, who we call “Mama Kaye.” She’s sweet-hearted and deep-rooted, a second mother or grandmother for all four of us—Malia, Sasha, Barack, and me. She’s been there to help with mealtime, craft time, been to all of our events over so many years—a wonderful friend and confidant to my mother. We love her, just like we love so many supportive women whose stories and contributions often go unrecognized, but who deserve just as much appreciation and love this time of year. So if there’s a Mama Kaye or a Czerny, a Grandma LaVaughn or an Aunt Robbie in your life, make sure to show them some love this weekend, too.
Through our work together to honor and support military families, I saw what an inspiration Jill Biden is to those around her. Her memoir, “Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself,” is out today—I hope you’ll read it. #WheretheLightEnters
This amazing smile belongs to a young man named Duvall Footman, who I met at #CollegeSigningDay in Los Angeles. Duvall’s already seen his share of adversity—by the time he turned 18, he had lost both of his parents. But he’s made it his goal to do them proud by working hard in school, and he’s set his sights on one day getting a degree in film and television. He currently attends Antelope Valley Community College with plans to continue his education @UCLA next year. Outside of his studies, Duvall plans to continue to mentor young people like him to make sure they know they can pursue their dreams, too. He’s seen the power of belief and resilience in his own life. And today he says: "I know that I have been gifted and favored to overcome every obstacle in my path." All I can say is that I think the world #BetterMakeRoom for Duvall. #ReachHigher
I’m so proud of the next class of #ObamaFellows—civic leaders already working in communities from Hanoi to Nairobi to New Orleans. They’ve brought hope to marginalized communities, helped protect our planet, and empowered women to take charge of change. What they’ve accomplished on their own is remarkable—and now, with the @ObamaFoundation , we’re excited to see what they can learn from each other.
So proud of my girl! The Queen has done it again. @Beyonce , thank you for always living your truth. #BeyonceHomecoming
I will never forget the first time I walked into the Notre Dame Cathedral. I was a teenager on a school trip to Paris. It was my very first international trip, and until then, I hadn’t seen much outside of the South Side neighborhood I grew up in. But the majesty of Notre Dame—the history, the artistry, the spirituality—took my breath away. The feeling was almost indescribable—a place that lifts you to a higher understanding of who we are and who we can be. Every time I’ve visited in the years since, including as First Lady, I felt the same thing. So being here in Paris tonight, my heart aches with the people of France. Yet I know that the Notre Dame I experienced all those years ago, as so many others have over the centuries, will soon awe us again.
I’m traveling in Europe right now for my #IAmBecoming tour and my brother just sent me one of the best texts I’ve ever received. My father gave us absolutely everything. The laughs and lessons, the hugs, the heartache from losing him—they’re all still there with me, every minute. Each of us has our own perspectives and emotions; our own journeys in the moment and in the years since. And that’s why it’s so important to share our stories with each other—not just to remember, but to connect. Even an ocean away. Love you, big brother. ❤️
I’m so thrilled to be in Europe this week! We kicked off our trip in Copenhagen, tonight we’re in Stockholm, and we’ll also make our way to Oslo, London, Paris, and Amsterdam. I’m so excited to visit these beautiful cities and can’t wait to hear the inspiring stories from so many new faces. And I want to keep hearing from all of you! What questions do you have? Share in the comments below.👇🏾#IAmBecoming
For as long as I can remember, my big brother Craig has always had my back. He's still one of my best friends today. Thanks for always coming out swinging for me, Craig! #NationalSiblingsDay
Valerie was one of my earliest, and best, role models for how to be a confident woman and mother in the workplace. She helped me while I was #FindingMyVoice, and I'm so proud to see @valeriebjarrett helping others find and use their own voices.
When it comes to being a voter, there’s no such thing as an "off” year. Throughout 2019, voters in states and cities all across the country will head to the polls to make important decisions that will affect our communities—and tomorrow is one of those big election days. So whether your community is voting Tuesday or sometime later this year, I hope you’ll join me and @WhenWeAllVote in making sure our friends, family, and neighbors are ready to make their voices heard. Get started at whenweallvote.org. #WhenWeAllVote
Congratulations to my amazing and extraordinarily talented friend, @ritawilson , on being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! From your first star turn on The Brady Bunch, to producing your mega hits My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mamma Mia, you are a true Hollywood legend.
I met Charisma Quiroz when I visited the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona last month. She’s a first-generation college sophomore at the University of Arizona studying political science and environmental science. In addition to working hard in her classes, Charisma is involved with a program on campus that offers support to first-generation college students. After graduation, Charisma plans to bring her knowledge back to her tribe by focusing on agriculture and water rights in her community. She also wants to help other young people on tribal lands pursue higher education. Charisma is a terrific example of what happens when we invest in young women—they pay it forward with investments of their own. Thanks for letting me share these inspiring stories with you during #WomensHistoryMonth! Do you know a young person who's changing their community? I want to hear about them — please share their story below! #IamBecoming #FlashbackFriday #ReachHigher
Over the years, I’ve developed a real connection with a couple of girls’ schools in London. I see myself in these girls, and always have since I first visited the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in 2009. One of these young women is Nusrath Hassan. I first met Nusrath in 2009 and we caught up again last year when I visited London for my book tour. Today, she's about to graduate from law school, and she’s been fighting for women’s rights in the community she grew up and around the world. I am so proud of Nusrath—she’s using her voice not just to benefit herself, but to lift up girls everywhere. #IAmBecoming #WomensHistoryMonth #FlashbackFriday
Recently I sat down with some of @Youtube ’s #BookTubers and creators to talk all things #IAmBecoming. We covered everything from marriage advice, to what it means to swerve, to my favorite books. Watch the full discussion at http://goo.gl/oggoh2.
There’s never a dull moment with you, Conan. Thanks for the laughs! Listen in at https://apple.co/TeamCoco. #IAmBecoming
We’re halfway through #WomensHistoryMonth, and today I’m highlighting one of our country’s incredible military spouses—Kiesha Yokers, who came to my show in New York City in December with @bluestarfamilies She’s a mother to two beautiful children. She’s a Navy wife. She’s an advocate for adoption. And she’s passionate about helping women of color build healthier lives. Like so many military spouses, she’s got a lot on her plate. After years of moving around the world with her Naval husband, Keisha stopped teaching elementary school to raise her two children. Soon enough, she decided to change her career path. Kiesha took the leap and started @greenandwellbeauty with the desire to see women of color live longer, healthier lives. It's become an inspiring and safe place to talk about issues close to Kiesha’s heart. Do you have a "swerve moment" that changed your path in life? Share in the comments below! #IAmBecoming
Still dancing at 110 years old—happy birthday, Virginia!
This beautiful smile belongs to Eliakunda Kaaya. I sat down with her and several of her peers for a conversation on girls' education last fall. Eliakunda comes from a family of nine children in Tanzania. She once said, "My own brothers would say… that it was a waste of time and waste of investment to…[send] me to school, because a woman is meant to be married.” But Eliakunda never believed that. She became the first person in her family to go to high school—and then the first to go to college. After she graduated she became a @ShesTheFirst Fellow and she launched a project called "Her Journey to School,” which builds on her own experience by reaching out to parents about the importance of sending their daughters to school. Eliakunda's story shows us the power of education—and the promise inside every single girl around the world. #InternationalWomensDay
Few things in life inspire me like young people taking action. This week, I visited with the #ObamaScholars, who have spent the past few days connecting and learning together in D.C. Already, they’re making profound differences in their home countries, from expanding peacebuilding operations in Colombia to fighting for gender rights and marginalized communities in Pakistan. Now, through the @ObamaFoundation , the University of Chicago, and Columbia University, they’re taking their work to the next level with a world-class education. The work they are doing is remarkable, and the best resource they have is each other—because work like this is impossible in isolation. I know that in the years ahead, these young leaders will make their communities better, and in turn, that makes the world a little brighter for all of us.