The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • The First Lady's Message to the United States-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Madam Peng are greeted by a group of students as they leave the Beijing Normal School in Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Madam Peng are greeted by a group of students as they leave the Beijing Normal School in Beijing, China, March 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    This March, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to China with her mother and her daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama. Mrs. Obama’s trip to China underscored the mutual emphasis placed on education by the U.S. and China and the importance of cultural exchanges between each nation’s youth. While there, the First Lady met with students from both countries and explained that the defining challenges of our time - from climate change to economic opportunity – are shared challenges that the next generation will need to solve by working together across borders.

    This week, the U.S. and China held meetings for the sixth round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), and the fifth annual Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Beijing. The S&ED, which was co-led by Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, focused on addressing shared strategic and economic challenges and opportunities. The CPE, which was led by Secretary Kerry, focused on strengthening ties between the two peoples through cultural, scientific, educational, and technological exchange. The First Lady delivered a message to the CPE, which was read by her Chief of Staff Tina Tchen, who is serving as the Women’s Pillar Lead for the U.S.-China People-to-People Exchange.

    You can read the full message from First Lady Michelle Obama here and below:

    Good Morning.  I am pleased to send my warmest greetings to all those gathered at the opening of the fifth round of the United States-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Beijing, China.  I would like to send my thanks to President Xi Jinping, Vice Premier Liu Yandong, and the entire Chinese delegation for hosting the United States’ delegation this year.


  • Fourth of July 2014 at the White House

    First Lady Michelle Obama, Malia Obama, and President Obama watch the Fourth of July fireworks

    First Lady Michelle Obama, left, Malia Obama and President Barack Obama watch the Fourth of July fireworks from the roof of the White House, July 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Yesterday, true to tradition, the President and First Lady celebrated the Fourth of July by hosting military heroes and their families for an Independence Day celebration with a barbecue, concert, and a view of fireworks on the South Lawn.


  • West Wing Week 07/04/14 or, “Cynicism is a Choice… Hope is a Better Choice”

    This week, the President wrapped up a trip to Minneapolis, nominated a new VA Secretary, and caught some World Cup fever. 


  • Experience the White House Kitchen Garden!

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the Let's Move blog. See the original post here.

    In keeping with the President and First Lady's commitment to open the People's House to as many people as possible, tours of the White House Kitchen Garden are back and now available to community organizations as well as school groups with an interest in gardening and healthy eating. Come smell the beautiful, brightly colored fruits and vegetables in the Kitchen Garden, including herbs grown from Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello; see the vibrant flowers in the Pollinator Garden; and hear the bees buzzing around the White House Beehive.

    Nestled on the White House South Lawn, the Kitchen Garden is home to different fruits, vegetables, and herbs each growing season. The First Lady planted the White House Kitchen Garden in 2009 to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our nation and to serve as an inspiration for schools and community groups across the country to plant gardens of their own. Now nearly five years later, the Kitchen Garden is as healthy as ever and is an example of just how easy it is to plant a garden in your backyard, school, or community space.

    So if you haven’t already started your own garden, click here to check out the Let’s Move! Gardening Guide, which has all the information you need to get planting!


  • First Lady Michelle Obama to DC-CAP Graduates: "Despite It All, You Chose to Succeed"

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during DC College Access Program graduation celebration

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the DC College Access Program graduation celebration of former DC-CAP students who received college degrees this spring, in Washington D.C., June 19, 2014. DC-CAP is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping D.C. high school students prepare for, enroll in, and graduate from college. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Rhia Hardman, whose father and stepmother were both crack addicts, had to survive sometimes as a child without water or electricity. And Rashema Melson, whose family has been homeless for years, experienced times when she didn't have clean clothes to wear to school.

    But today, Rhia is a graduate with honors from Virginia State University. And Rashema, who just graduated as the valedictorian of her class, is attending Georgetown University this fall on a full scholarship.

    And as the First Lady said at last night's DC College Access Program graduation celebration, Rhia and Rashema aren't the only ones with similar stories of struggle and success.

    "So many of you have stories just like these," Mrs. Obama told the graduates. "Stories of families who couldn’t support you, of communities where you weren’t safe, schools that maybe didn’t always live up to your promise. But ultimately, despite it all, you chose to succeed."


  • Recognizing the Importance of Summer Learning Day

    Ed. note: This is posted on the U.S. Department of Education's blog. See the original post here.

    Today we join hundreds of communities and programs across the country in celebrating National Summer Learning Day, a recognized national advocacy day to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning to our nation’s youth—specifically, in helping close the achievement gap and supporting healthy development.

    Summer learning is everywhere; it’s happening in cities and towns all across the country. Today in Fayetteville, NC, the local university is opening its doors to local youth to learn about its College Readiness Summer Institute and how they can participate. In Louisville, KY, Mayor Greg Fischer joined other prominent local figures to kick off Every 1 Learns, a citywide summer learning effort designed to provide access to academic support and meaningful work experience for Louisville youth.

    Find more summer learning opportunities across the country on our interactive Summer Learning Day Map.

    Last month, I blogged on HomeRoom about how families can keep their teens learning and preparing for college and careers this summer. A few weeks later, First Lady Michelle Obama joined students in San Antonio to highlight her college access initiative Reach Higher. She is supporting President Obama’s “North Star” goal of returning the U.S. to being the leader in college graduates by 2020. One of the core solutions in achieving that goal is summer learning. The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is excited to partner with the First Lady in helping teens “Reach Higher” all summer long and beyond.

    Today it is a true honor to share the stage with the First Lady at the U.S. Department of Education to celebrate National Summer Learning Day. Bringing together high school students and education leaders from across the country, our event highlights the critical role summer learning plays in preparing young people for successful college entry and completion.

    The First Lady and other guests will see and hear from young people about the incredible things they learned last summer, like how to write a personal statement, teach and mentor younger youth, dance, cook healthy meals, apply for financial aid, and even dissect a sheep brain.

    The 100 youth joining us today have the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in exemplary programs, and we hope to extend that opportunity to all young people who need and want that experience. Across the country, we’re beginning to see school districts partner with institutions of higher education and other nonprofits to offer rigorous coursework, counseling, and meaningful work experience for young people in the summer, and it’s changing lives.

    There’s great reason to believe that summer learning opportunities can increase college access and completion among first generation college students. We’re thrilled that Mrs. Obama has taken notice of the importance of summer learning, and we’re honored to work with her on such an important issue for our nation’s youth.

    Sarah Pitcock is CEO of the National Summer Learning Association.


  • The First Lady Welcomes 50 New Americans at the National Archives

    Watch on YouTube

    This morning, First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed 50 new Americans in a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

    "This is an exciting day," the First Lady said in her remarks, "and it's just wonderful that I can be among the first to congratulate you on becoming American citizens."

    Only a few feet from where she spoke was the Declaration of Independence -- and as she noted, none of the 56 Founders who signed the Declaration were born American, "they became American."


  • You're Invited: White House Summit on Working Families

    We're excited to announce our next White House Social event -- an opportunity for our followers on Twitter and Instagram to attend the White House Summit on Working Families.

    On Monday, June 23, 2014, this day-long event will feature remarks by the President, the First Lady, the Vice President, and Dr. Jill Biden, as they participate in a national conversation about how we can create 21st-century workplaces that work for all Americans.

    Interested? Sign up for your chance to join other White House social media followers for the White House Summit on Working Families at WhiteHouse.gov/WH-Social-Working-Families. After you sign up, spread the word and tell your friends about the event by using the hashtag #WHSocial.

    Working Families Summit Social Invite


  • West Wing Week 06/13/14 or, "I Am Hip to All These Things"

    This week, the President commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, hosted his first-ever Tumblr Q&A, and spoke to graduates of Worcester Technical High School.

    Watch on YouTube


  • In Case You Missed It: #LunchWithFLOTUS Twitter Q&A on Healthy School Lunches

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Twitter chat to discuss school nutrition and the White House Kitchen Garden

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Twitter chat to discuss school nutrition and the White House Kitchen Garden, in the First Lady's Office in the East Wing of the White House, June 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    Millions of kids across America are eating healthier school meals because of new nutrition standards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    Today at 2:30 p.m. ET, the First Lady held a Twitter Q&A to help raise awareness around the importance of our kids eating healthy and getting the nutrition they need.

    Check out the First Lady’s answers to your questions on school nutrition here or at Storify.gov/FLOTUS, and learn more about the First Lady's initiative to encourage healthy eating at Letsmove.gov/eat-healthy.