The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • 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)

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    • 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)

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    • 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)

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    • 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)

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    • 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)

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    • 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)

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    • 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)

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    • 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)

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  • 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.


  • West Wing Week: 05/10/13 or “I Dare You to Do Better”

    This week, the President made his fourth trip to Mexico, continued on to Costa Rica, spoke to the graduating class of 2013 at The Ohio State University, hosted the new President of South Korea, discussed hurricane preparedness, and kicked off a series of Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour in the Lone Star State.


  • West Wing Week: 05/03/13 or “Nobody Does It Better”

    This week, President Obama spoke at the Planned Parenthood conference and the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, met with the King of Jordan, made five personnel announcements, celebrated the sciences and the Joining Forces Initiative, and embarked on a trip to Mexico and Costa Rica.


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Announces New Hiring Commitments for Veterans and Military Spouses

    First Lady Michelle Obama Makes a Veterans' Employment Announcement in the East Room, April 30, 2013

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a Joining Forces initiative employment announcement for veterans and military spouses, in the East Room of the White House, April 30, 2013. Stage participants included, from left, Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Two years ago, President Obama announced a challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013.

    Today, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and Dr. Jill Biden all participated in a Joining Forces Employment event at the White House.

    The First Lady announced that America’s businesses nearly tripled the goal set by President Obama and did so eight months early. The private sector has already hired or trained 290,000 veterans and military spouses.

    The First Lady also announced that American companies have committed to hire or train another 435,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. 


  • Businesses Must Hire More Vets

    Ed note: This op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden was first published on Fortune.com. You can see the original article here.

    Two years ago, we launched Joining Forces, a nationwide campaign to rally all Americans to support our veterans and military families. We did this for two simple reasons: because we were both awed by the courage and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform who risk their lives every day to protect our values and keep us safe. We were also awed by their families, the spouses and children who serve right along with them, enduring deployment after deployment with grace and resolve.

    As we traveled the country visiting bases and military communities, everywhere we went, we heard from veterans who had years of training and experience in the military -- leading dozens, even hundreds of their peers; operating some of the most advanced technology; and solving complex problems under the most extreme conditions imaginable. But when they returned home, they struggled to find decent jobs. We met military spouses who'd spent decades moving from base to base every couple of years and struggled to maintain their careers. As the months passed, we saw that the unemployment rate for our most recent veterans remained far too high above the national average.

    These men and women are some of the highest-skilled, best-trained, hardest-working people in this country. They are medics and engineers, drivers and welders, computer technicians and machinists. They are eager to work and determined to keep on serving this country. All they need is a chance.