The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • Goodwill Commits to Engaging Women Veterans

    Ophthalmologist Assistant Juanita Williams

    Ophthalmologist Assistant Juanita Williams smiles while describing her experiences at a Joining Forces event hosted by Goodwill Industries International. (Photo from Goodwill Industries International)

    Today, Goodwill Industries International announced that it is launching a new initiative that aims to assist 3,000 women veterans over the next two years.

    By the year 2020, women will represent over 10 percent of our nation’s veteran population. The new and expanded “Goodwill Serving America’s Heroes” initiative will take a holistic approach to the success of women leaving the Armed Forces by providing assistance with childcare costs, housing, support for those with disabilities, and connections to employers, to name a few. 

    Juanita Williams, currently employed as an ophthalmologist assistant, is a Navy veteran who utilized the services offered by Goodwill. She shared her opinion on Goodwill’s efforts. “Coming out of the service, we need this," she said. "We need these services that help us get back on our feet. They’ve helped me with child care, résumé writing classes, interview techniques and, of course, finding my employer.”


  • West Wing Week: 06/07/13 or “Cooler at Night"

    This week, the President urged Congress not to let student loan rates double and to confirm three judges for the federal appeals court in Washington, held bilateral meetings with the NATO Secretary-General and the President of Chile, kicked off a National Conference on Mental Health, honored the Super Bowl champions, and announced a major new initiative called ConnectED, while the Vice President wrapped up a weeklong trip to South America. That's May 31st to June 6th or, "Cooler at Night."


  • West Wing Week: 05/31/13 or "Greetings from Asbury Park"

    This week, the President spoke to the graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy, traveled to Oklahoma and New Jersey to highlight recovery efforts, and honored Memorial Day with the First Lady at Arlington National Cemetery. 


  • The White House Kitchen Garden Summer Harvest

    Ed. Note: This is a cross post from the blog of LetsMove.gov. You can find the original post here.

    First Lady Michelle Obama harvests vegetables with students

    First Lady Michelle Obama harvests vegetables with students in the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn, May 28, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Today, a group of student helpers joined First Lady Michelle Obama for the summer White House kitchen garden harvest. For this harvest, the First Lady invited children from two New Jersey communities that were affected by Hurricane Sandy and invited back all the children who helped plant the garden in April so they could see the fruits of their labors. First Lady Michelle Obama and the students got their hands dirty picking produce from the garden.

    So we’re here to harvest and we’re going to clear this out, right?  Right, Sam?  I know I’m going to be pulling up some radishes and doing some lettuce, but you guys are going to help harvest everything that’s over there.  

    After they were done harvesting they had a chance to try some of the vegetables they picked -- on a grilled garden pizza. 

    We’re going to actually get to eat what we harvest today.  So in addition to doing some harvesting, you guys are going to help -- we’re going to do some veggie flatbread pizzas with the vegetables from the garden.  You guys up for a little cooking, too?

    Watch a video of the planting below or on youtube:

    Want to plant your own garden? Check out the Let's Move gardening guides:


  • First Lady Michelle Obama: "I want to urge you guys to keep on working hard every single day."

    Today, the First Lady and actress Kerry Washington visited the Savoy School in Anacostia, one of eight schools selected last year for the Turnaround Arts Initiative at the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Through the initiative, these high-poverty, traditionally underperforming schools are using the arts to dramatically improve the culture and climate and to bolster academic success for their students. 


  • West Wing Week: 05/24/13 or “Justice for Everybody”

    This week, the President continued his Jobs & Opportunity tour, this time highlighting bold new efforts in education and manufacturing in Baltimore, gave the commencement address at Morehouse College, invited the President of Myanmar, eight immigration reform advocates and DREAMers themselves, and Gershwin Prize winner Carole King and friends to the White House, and delivered a major counter-terrorism speech at the National Defense University. 


  • Photo Gallery: Behind the Scenes in April 2013

    Go behind the scenes at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by checking out The White House Photo Office’s latest photo gallery. The gallery highlights some of the major events that occurred in April – from the Easter Egg Roll to the opening of the George W. Bush Library and Museum.

    Check out some of our favorite images below, and then see the full set on our Flickr gallery.

    • KidTribe hula hoopers perform during the Easter Egg Roll

      KidTribe hula hoopers perform during the Easter Egg Roll. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      1 of 8
    • President Obama and Chief of Staff McDonough walk along the South Lawn driveway

      President Obama and Chief of Staff McDonough walk along the South Lawn driveway. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      2 of 8
    • President Obama at the “In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul” concert

      President Obama and First Lady Obama, along with daughters Malia and Sasha, listen as Eddie Floyd sings. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      3 of 8
    • President Obama at Ceremony with Alabama Crimson Tide football team

      President Obama following a ceremony honoring the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      4 of 8
    • President Obama at Cathedral of the Holy Cross following Boston Marathon bombings

      President Obama during an interfaith prayer service for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

      5 of 8
    • President Obama at the White House Science Fair

      President Obama at the White House Science Fair in the East Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      6 of 8
    • President Obama with Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

      President Obama at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      7 of 8
    • President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in West, Texas

      Fire Chaplain Duncan stands with the President and First Lady during a memorial service in West, Texas. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

      8 of 8


  • First Lady Delivers Commencement Addresses at Bowie State, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Bowie State University commencement

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Bowie State University commencement at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md., May 17, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    On Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the commencement address to the Bowie State University Class of 2013. Bowie State, which opened just two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, "was founded not just to educate African Americans, but to teach them how to educate others,” the First Lady explained. 

    And since then, generations of students from all backgrounds have come to this school to be challenged, inspired and empowered. And they have gone on to become leaders here in Maryland and across this country, running businesses, educating young people, leading the high-tech industries that will power our economy for decades to come. 

    That is the story of Bowie State University, the commitment to educating our next generation and building ladders of opportunity for anyone willing to work for it. All of you are now part of that story. And with that tremendous privilege comes an important set of responsibilities -- responsibilities that you inherit the moment you leave this stadium with that diploma in your hand. 

    Read her full remarks here.

    On Saturday, she traveled to Nashville to speak to the graduating class of Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School. The First Lady took the opportunity to talk to the students – all of whom are going on to higher education or the military – about some of the skills they’ll need as they make their way through college and through life: resilience, grit, and the ability to pick themselves up when they fall.


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Delivers the Commencement Address at Eastern Kentucky University

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Eastern Kentucky University commencement (May 11, 2013)

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Eastern Kentucky University commencement at the EKU Alumni Coliseum in Richmond, Ky., May 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    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."


  • "Thank you for all that you do": Military Mother's Day Tea with the First Lady and Dr. Biden

    Watch this video on YouTube

    Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden hosted a special Mother's Day tea to honor military mothers and show their appreciation and thanks for all the important work they do as well as the sacrifices their families have made in service of our country.