Women’s History Month Spotlight: Michelle Obama

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By: Brooke Ehmann – Jones

March 13, 2021

In honor of Women’s History Month, Glasgow students celebrate women who have impacted the world in which we live. Spotlight #5 is Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama (born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson), known as the former First Lady of the United States, is also a mother (to Malia and Sasha Obama), writer, and fashion icon. She served alongside her husband, Barack Obama, at the White House, being the first ever African American president and first lady of the US! As the first lady, she focused on issues like poverty, education, and healthy living. 

Her hard work and deep care of making a difference in people’s lives is shown countless times through her many initiatives and programs. Her support for the Organic Foods Movement, and the creation of the Let’s Move Initiative: motivating youth to exercise, participate in physical activity, and eat healthily; helped fight child obesity in the US. Her Reach Higher Initiative helped kids learn about job opportunities, and education they may need for different careers. Let Girls Learn: to empower and educate young women and girls on the importance of education, encouraging them to go to school, and stay in school. Also, the Joining Forces Initiative: created to help veterans and military families. Not only was she helping children across American and the world, but she was also promoting healthy living and eating at her home, the White House. She planted a large garden with elementary schoolers on the White House grounds and visited schools to talk to children about healthy eating, encouraging them to plant gardens in their communities and schools.

Michelle wasn’t only a role model and pioneer during her time at the White House, but her childhood also shows how she stood up in the face of challenge, determined to help others through her work. Michelle’s father was a pump operator for the Chicago Water Department and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when Michelle was young; yet he kept working so that Michelle and her brother could go to school. Education was important, and emphasized in her family, so after high school, she went to Princeton University, and got her B.A. in Sociology. Later, she studied law at Harvard; after going back to Chicago, she became the Assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago’s City Hall; then became the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies. She developed the first community service program at the University of Chicago, during her time of being an associate dean of student services at the school. In addition to her public service, she also trained young adults in leadership, making her even more of a leader and role model. When Barack Obama started running for president in the 2008 election, Michelle scaled back her work a bit to help the family and her husband’s campaign. However, that did not stop her from volunteering for those in need, and traveling to giving speeches around the country.

Michelle Obama’s impact and mark on society has affected many people in the US, but also those at Glasgow. Her resilient and determined attitude, but also her generosity and aptitude for helping others, has shown Glasgow students that you can not only reach your goals with effort, but you can also advocate and create change in society through your work. When thinking of Michelle Obama, remember that she is a leader, empowering others through her work. Showing the youth of this generation that you can also inspire others to reach for their dreams, and advocate for change, working hard to better society, impacting those around you.

 

Sources: 

Michelle Obama Biography 

Michelle Obama, the White House 

First Lady Michelle Obama  

 

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