Athletes, Artists, and Astronauts: Women Mentors at the White House
April 01, 2011
10:00 AM EDT
As Women's History Month draws to a close, First Lady Michelle Obama brought a group of America's most accomplished women to D.C. to meet with area students. Among the attendees were WNBA star Lisa Leslie, former Olympians Michelle Kwan and Dominique Dawes, actresses Geena Davis and Hillary Swank, astronaut Ellen Ochoa, Air Force General Dana Born, and almost a dozen more leaders from the worlds of business and entertainment.
During the day, the First Lady paid a visit to Ballou High School in Washington, D.C., and spoke with a group of exceptional students. She reminded them that any dream is possible through a strong education and hard work:
Barack and I were not born with silver spoons in our mouths and connections and money and resources. A lot of why we’re where we are today is because we worked hard. We felt a deep passion for getting our education. We were motivated not by making our friends proud of us, but by making our family proud of us. And with a lot of preparation, when the opportunities presented themselves, we were ready. And you all can do the same.
The First Lady also took questions from the students. One asked about the work the President and First Lady have done to prevent bullying in America's schools and communities. The First Lady talked about the importance of getting parents, teachers, and students to all work together:
I think it’s important that we have a national conversation. But a lot of the work that needs to happen around the question of bullying needs to happen on the ground. It’s got to happen with parents and principals and communities and with kids, all of you all, taking some responsibility for either stepping up or staying out of that fray.
Other mentors visited other schools in the D.C. area. The First Family hosted a reception and dinner for the mentors and 120 students in the East Room of the White House as well. You can read the full text of the First Lady's remarks at Ballou High School, as well as her answers to all the questions from students, on WhiteHouse.gov.