The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden

  • Celebrating Excellence in Community Colleges

    As a community college teacher, I know that excellence happens every day in community college classrooms and campuses across this country. Both in my classroom and when I’m on the road visiting community colleges, I am fortunate to see firsthand the tremendous impact these schools have on so many students.  I see students striving, teachers inspiring, and administrators innovating – each doing their best to make the community college experience richer and more meaningful. President Obama has made community colleges a centerpiece of his goal to have the best-educated, most competitive workforce in the world.

    Earlier today at the Newseum in Washington, DC, leaders in education and business congratulated Santa Barbara City College from California and Walla Walla Community College from Washington for being selected as co-winners of the 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Kingsborough Community College – CUNY from New York and Lake Area Technical Institute from South Dakota were honored as finalists-with-distinction.


  • President Obama Hosts a Celebration of Women's History Month at the White House

    President Barack Obama with First Lady Michelle Obama and Amanda McMillan at the Women’s History Month reception, March 18, 2013.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the Women’s History Month reception in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2013. Standing at right are First Lady Michelle Obama and Amanda McMillan, who introduced the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    President Obama today welcomed a group of accomplished and inspiring women to a reception in the East Room of the White House. The group, which included leaders like A&E Networks CEO Abbe Raven, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Girl Scouts' CEO Anna Maria Chávez, astronaut Sunita Williams, activists Dolores Huerta and Lilly Ledbetter, and WNBA star (and 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist) Tamika Catchings, joined the President, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to celebrate the progress women make in this country each and every day. President Obama highlighted the changes we've seen in the past century:

    When I look around this room, it is hard to believe that 100 years ago this month, thousands of women were marching right outside this house demanding one of our most fundamental right: the right to vote, to have a say in our democracy. And today, a century later, its rooms are full of accomplished women who have overcome discrimination, shattered glass ceilings, and become outstanding role models for all of our sons and daughters. And that means we've come a long way, and that’s thanks to the efforts of so many people like you.

    Because of the hard work and exemplary leadership of the women in this room, military families have protected family and medical leave. Women have legal recourse to fight against pay discrimination... Women have the opportunity to serve on the front lines of our military conflicts, and that means that they're getting paid and promoted equally. Women have the opportunity to make their own choices about their health.


  • Dr. Jill Biden Talks with the PTA's Executive Board about Supporting Military Kids in Schools

    On Monday, Dr. Jill Biden joined a meeting of the National PTA's Executive Board to talk about the ways parents, educators and school communities can offer important support to children whose parents are serving in the military, and especially those whose moms or dads are deployed overseas.

    Dr. Biden, who is both an educator and a military mom, thanked the leaders for the work they have already accomplished on this issue in schools, and highlighted how much more remains to be done, and how important it is:

    Three years ago, I visited troops with my husband at Camp Victory in Iraq over the Fourth of July. While I was there, a general told me that during a concert at his six-year-old daughter’s school, one of her classmates burst into tears when the song “Ave Maria” played. 

     She told the teacher it was the song they played at her daddy’s funeral. He died in Iraq.

    Her teacher was unaware she was a military child. That story is heartbreaking for all of us – especially parents and teachers who can imagine the impact an incident like that would have on a child.

    And that story demonstrates just how vital it is that we raise awareness around the unique needs of our military children.


  • West Wing Week: 03/01/13 or “Hope Springs Eternal”

    This week, the President urged Congress to take a responsible approach to deficit reduction instead of the indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts called the sequester. He also met with the Prime Minister of Japan, America's Governors, and the country's only all-black Ranger unit, and unveiled a truly moving monument to Rosa Parks.


  • Renewing the National Commitment to Putting America’s Heroes Back to Work

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden addressed the National Governors Association today, and renewed their call on governors to do their part putting America’s heroes back to work, and to serve our military veterans and spouses as well as they’ve served us. The First Lady’s remarks are a call to action – building on President Obama’s June 2012 announcement of the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force – setting a goal that by the end of 2015, all 50 states will have taken legislative or executive action to help our troops get the credentials they need to successfully transition to the civilian labor market.

    The remarks by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden coincide with a new report by the Executive Office of the President that details the barriers veterans and their families face as they seek employment, the Administration’s commitment to help them leverage their skills to good, meaningful jobs and the progress that has already been made.


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Challenges Governors of all 50 States to Ease Service Members' Transition to Civilian Work Force

    Too often the talented men and women who have served our country face barriers that make it difficult to find jobs that capitalize on the skills they have gained through their military education and experience. Many service members and veterans are required to repeat education or training in order to receive industry certifications and state occupational licenses, even though much, and in some cases, all, of their military training and experience overlaps with credential requirements.

    The members of our Armed Forces and their families make great sacrifices, and when their service is concluded, we owe it to our veterans and their families to help them accomplish a successful transition to the civilian labor force. That is why over the past year and a half, President Obama has taken significant action to create a “career-ready military” and streamline the transition process.

    Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden highlighted the work that has been done across the country to change laws that require military spouses to attain new credentials when they move to a new state, and challenged the governors of all 50 states to take legislative or executive action to help our troops get the credentials they need by the end of 2015. Speaking to the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room, Mrs. Obama talked about the pressing need to take action and fulfill our responsibilities to the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much over the past decade:

    In the coming years, more than one million service members will make the transition to civilian life. 

    Think about that – a million people hanging up their uniforms… figuring out what’s next… and doing everything they can to make that change as seamless as possible for their families.

    So the fact is, while this time of war may be ending, our responsibilities to our troops and their families will only be ramping  up.

    And that’s what I want to talk to you about today—how we can fulfill what is perhaps our most pressing responsibility to our troops: making sure that when they come home, they can find a job—and not just any job, but a good job, a job they can raise a family on.


  • West Wing Week: 02/15/13 or “You’re a Hero”

    This week, the President delivered the first State of the Union address of his second term, and then brought his proposals to a factory in North Carolina and a school in Georgia, presided over a Medal of Honor ceremony, honored the outgoing Secretary of Defense, and hungout on Google Plus. 


  • Dr. Jill Biden Thanks British Military Veterans and their Families for their Service and Sacrifice

    Dr. Jill Biden Addresses a Help for Heroes Reception at the US Embassy in London, Feb 5, 2013

    Dr. Jill Biden welcomes British military veterans and their families at a reception for Wounded Warriors at Winfield House in London, England and thanks them for their service, sacrifice, and dedication. (by JP Evans/US Embassy)

    Dr. Jill Biden today met with Wounded Warriors at a reception for British military veterans and their families at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in London, England, and she thanked them for their service, sacrifice and dedication. America's Second Lady highlighted the unbreakable bonds between the US and British troops, who have served alongside one another for the past ten years, in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

    Vice President and Dr. Biden have been travelling this week in Europe, where the Vice President has met with leaders in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. At today's reception, Dr. Biden talked about the people she has visited with over the past few days, including Wounded Warriors and medical staff at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and soldiers and their families at a US Army base in Germany:

    With each visit, I am reminded that our service members and their families have done so much for us … and we can all do something in return.

    That spirit is what fuels the Joining Forces initiative the First Lady and I started to support and honor our troops and military families.

    And I am very pleased to not only visit with some of the heroes that make the British military so strong, but also all the organizations here that support them.

    I know that over the past 10 years, you have all worked so hard to improve the lives of the men and women who have sacrificed so much. It is your dedication and support that has made all the difference for so many veterans and their families.

     


  • Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden Visit Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden visit with medical staff

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden visit with medical staff during a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, in Landstuhl, Germany, Feb., 3, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Today, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited with Wounded Warriors and their medical caretakers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Landstuhl, Germany. 
     
    Landstuhl RMC is the largest U.S. military hospital outside the United States. It serves American servicemembers and their families who are stationed in Europe. Landstuhl RMC is also the nearest medical trauma center treating wounded U.S. servicemembers coming from Afghanistan. The center treats wounded coalition military members serving alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan as well.
     
    The Vice President, Dr. Biden, and Deputy Secretary Carter thanked the combat-injured U.S. soldier for his service to our country and thanked his wife and their young son for their sacrifices. They also spent time visiting with two wounded soldiers serving in Afghanistan who were from the Republic of Georgia. Of the fifty-nation coalition providing forces in Afghanistan, the Republic of Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor, providing over 1,560 forces who primarily serve in Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province.
     
    The Vice President, Dr. Biden, and Deputy Secretary Carter also took time to specially thank on-duty medical caretakers in the surgical wards and the intensive care unit for caring for our Wounded Warriors. Vice President Biden said, “Even if there were no Wounded Warriors here to visit today, we wanted to stop by and visit with you to say thank you for all that you do for them. What you do is truly breathtaking. And because of you, our Wounded Warriors can return home alive to their mothers and fathers, to their wives and husbands, and to their sons and daughters.”


  • White House Fellows Participate in Winterhaven Homeless Stand Down

    The White House Fellows recently had the great pleasure and honor of participating in the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Winterhaven Homeless Stand Down in Washington, DC. The Stand Down is an annual event in which over 60 federal, state, and community agencies provide a range of services to needy and homeless veterans. These include cholesterol checks, eye exams, employment counseling, clothing distribution, benefits claims assistance, PTSD and trauma screening, personal care items and meals. The Stand Down is part of the VA's goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015.

    White House Fellows served in the kitchen and dining area, which for most veterans was the last stop of the day. Some Fellows greeted veterans upon their entry into the dining area and reviewed with each veteran his or her schedule, to ensure that each veteran had the opportunity to access all of the available resources. We served meals, including salads, vegetables, barbecue, desserts and beverages. Fellows also helped disabled veterans to their seats and carried veterans' meals and bags of supplies and clothing. Finally, we helped clean tables, so that no veteran would have to wait to be seated. With the other volunteers, we served over 500 veterans during the day.