First Lady Michelle Obama Delivers the Commencement Address at Eastern Kentucky University
04:06 PM EDT
First Lady Michelle Obama yesterday celebrated a new class of graduates from Eastern Kentucky University.
"You all went through so much to make it to this day -- the highs and the lows, the triumphs, the challenges, the celebrations, the devastations -- and I'm not just talking about your love lives, either," the First Lady told the graduates. "I'm talking about all those papers you poured your heart into; all those caffeine-fueled all-nighters; those moments of anxiety as you set out on your own, looking to find new friends you clicked with and a new community to call your own."
At Eastern Kentucky, the students were part of a community committed to public service -- and in the past year, the seniors and their classmates put in more than 107,000 hours of volunteer work. And Mrs. Obama told the Class of 2013 that they needed to maintain that commitment as graduates.
"Whether you’ve worn our country’s uniform or not, we’re all called to serve and to give back to those around us," she said. "And you don’t have to travel across the globe or even across the country to find ways to serve. All you have to do is take a look around your own community. Are there kids in your neighborhood who could use a mentor? Can you volunteer with an organization that serves military families? Can you pick up a few extra cans of vegetables and donate them to a food bank? I mean, these may seem so small, but they really make a difference. Because when you’ve worked hard and done well, as I said, the least you can do is reach back and give a hand to somebody else who could use that help."