The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • First Lady Honors National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Recipients

    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts the PCAH National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards (November 19, 2012)

    First Lady Michelle Obama, the honorary chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, hosts the PCAH National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 19, 2012. Mariachi Desoro is on stage behind Mrs. Obama. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Today, First Lady Michelle Obama honored 12 of the nation’s most outstanding arts and humanities programs for young people.

    These exemplary after-school and out-of-school arts and humanities program are recipients of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards. Their work fosters the creative and intellectual development of America’s youth through education and practical experience in the arts.

    I know that many of you who are here today, you make all this happen on shoestring budgets; you do it in unbelievable ways, in some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable.  And I know that you put a lot of late nights and long hours in to give these kids opportunities worthy of their promise.

    But you keep on doing this year after year because you have seen firsthand the transformative power of the arts and arts education in the lives of young people across this country.  You know that the skills that you’re teaching -- skills like problem-solving and teamwork, self-expression -- these skills aren’t just valuable in the studio or in the theater, but they are critical in the classroom and will be in the workplace when you all get there.

    A group of students from the Mariachi Master Apprentice Program also performed at the event.


    Mariachi Desoro performs during the the PCAH National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards (November 19, 2012)

    First Lady Michelle Obama, the honorary chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, listens as Mariachi Desoro performs during the the PCAH National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 19, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

  • Thank an American Hero

    This Veterans Day, we hope you'll take a moment to join First Lady Michelle Obama and thank an American hero. Sending that message is easy. You can send a note on by clicking on the "Share Your Message" tab. Or go to Facebook to create a card using Shutterfly's Thank The Troops app. Either way, your card will be delivered to service members and veterans throughout the holiday season.

    To get you started, we've pasted the First Lady's card below. Check it out, then send your own on or on Facebook:


  • Watch First Lady Michelle Obama at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Dinner

    Ed. Note: The speech has now concluded, but you can watch a video of the remarks below.

    Tonight, First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the keynote address at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards Dinner.

    The Phoenix Dinner is the closing event for the CBC Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, and will honor four individuals for their contributions in addressing challenges facing the African-American community.

    To watch the speech live, tune in tonight, September 22, 2012. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time and the First Lady is scheduled to speak at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The dinner and speech will be livestreamed here.

    Watch the First Lady's full remarks here. 

  • The Decision to Move Forward: Paralympian Lt. Snyder Meets with The First Lady

    Brad Snyder’s story is a remarkable one. Just one year ago, Lieutenant Snyder was blinded by an IED while serving in Afghanistan. This summer, he competed in the London Paralympics, bringing home two gold medals and a silver medal in swimming.

    Moments after being honored at the White House alongside his fellow athletes, Brad shared his story with First Lady Michelle Obama. “Overcoming adversity is a decision that everyone makes,” Brad said, “And you can let that beat you or you can make the decision to move forward.”

    Take a moment to watch, and then share this video on Twitter and Facebook with your friends:

    Watch Paralympian Lt. Snyder Meet The First Lady, here. 

  • Team USA Visits the White House

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks to the 2012 United States Olympic and Paralympic Teams

    President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama, delivers remarks to the 2012 United States Olympic and Paralympic Teams on the South Lawn of the White House, Sept. 14, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Today, the President and First Lady welcomed the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House to honor their participation and success in this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. 

    At an event on the South Lawn, Mrs. Obama told the athletes that she was impressed not only by the 200-plus medals they brought home, but also by their dedication and hard work leading up to the games.

    I want you to know how inspired we are by all of you -- your passion, your dedication, your courage. This summer, people across the country -- including some of the young people with us today -- watched you compete and thought to themselves, you know what, if they can set a goal and work hard to reach it, maybe I can too, and maybe I can go a little farther and do a little better than people think I can. They saw all of you out there giving 100 percent, overcoming all kinds of obstacles, representing our country with such determination and pride. 

  • Announcing 125,000 Hires Through Joining Forces

    Earlier this week, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville, Florida to announce that 2,000 private sector businesses had hired or trained 125,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year through Joining Forces.

    Check out behind the scenes footage from the announcement event in this new video, and hear veterans discuss what this initiative has meant to them as they transition back to civilian life and look for work that allows them to use the skills and experience they gained in the military to continue serving our country. 

    Watch the video on the Announcement of 125,000 Hires Through Joining Forces, here.

  • First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Sikh Community in Wisconsin

    First Lady Michelle Obama visits families of the victims of the shooting in the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, August 23, 2012

    First Lady Michelle Obama greets Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, Secretary of Board of Trustees and Oak Creek Mayor Stephen Scaffidi at Oak Creek High School in Milwaukee, WI, August 23, 2012. The First Lady was visiting Oak Creek to visit families of the victims of the recent shooting at a Sikh temple. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

    On Sunday, August 5, a gunman tore into the Sikh Gudwrara in Oak Creek, turning that temple, and the lives of community members within it, upside down.  Six people were killed and others wounded, some severely. There’s no explanation for why that gunman did what he did.  But what we do know is this: this horrible tragedy has revealed the courageous story of the Sikh community, and it reminds us that their story is an American story. 

    Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama visited with the Sikh American families affected by the tragedy in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  It was a time for condolences and for healing, and a day that the First Lady and the families of the victims will never forget. 

    As she hugged grieving husbands and wives, comforted granddaughters and grandsons, and embraced sons and daughters, the First Lady lifted up the Sikh American story yesterday.  She not only expressed her condolences but also underscored how strong those who died were, and how strong the Sikh community continues to be.  Since the first Sikhs arrived at Angel Island in California almost 100 years ago, they have been woven into the fabric of our country. Doctors, artists and lawyers, politicians and priests, Sikh Americans have strengthened the United States in innumerable ways. The First Lady expressed her pride in the community yesterday, and looked into the eyes of the children in the room and said that she expects them to achieve ever greater things as well. 

  • First Lady Announces 125,000 Veterans and Military Spouses Hired Through Joining Forces

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a Joining Forces event (August 22, 2012)

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks announcing a major veterans and military spouse employment milestone during a Joining Forces 125,000th hire event at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida, Aug. 22, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Earlier today, I joined with First Lady Michelle Obama at Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville, Florida as she announced that 2,000 companies had hired or trained an amazing 125,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year through Joining Forces.

    This effort, combined with policies and legislation put in place by the President have resulted in a 20 percent decrease in veteran unemployment compared to this time last year.

    It was an extraordinary event, set among several Navy Seahawk helicopters, that kicked off with a new Joining Forces video telling the story of how we got to today's announcement. Hundreds of Sailors from on Navy's premier warships and helicopter squadrons were in attendance along with their families.

    The Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral Scott Van Buskirk, was there and delivered inspiring remarks.

    Leaders of businesses who have been hiring literally thousands of veterans were there -- and they brought with them veterans and spouses who they hired in the past year.

    As several of the veterans told me, Joining Forces has made a significant impact on their lives.

  • First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts First-Ever Kids' State Dinner

    Watch the First Lady speak at the Kids' State Dinner here.

    Today, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the first-ever Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House, welcoming 54 budding chefs to a formal luncheon in the East Room. The guests, all between the ages of 8 and 12, represent all U.S. states, three territories and the District of Columbia.

    Each of the guests, along with their parents, submitted a healthy recipe as part of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, which invited families to create an original lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable and delicious, and follows the nutritional guidelines of MyPlate.

    “Believe it or not, more than 1,200 kids submitted recipes for this challenge -- 1,200.  It's a big competition,” the First Lady said.  A panel of judges from the organizations that teamed up with Mrs. Obama on this initiative -- Epicurious, the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture—tasted each of the recipes that made it to the final round of the competition and picked their favorites from each state, as Mrs. Obama explained.

    And they spent hours trying to decide which ones were the healthiest and the tastiest and the most fun to cook and eat.  And it wasn't easy to choose one winner from every single state.  You were the winner in your state -- the whole state.  You guys won!  Cool! 

    But you're here because your recipes truly stood out, right?  And that’s really saying something.  You came up with dishes that were packed with nutritious, delicious ingredients; dishes that are good for you, but more importantly, they taste good, too.  See?  It can happen -- healthy and tasty at the same time.

  • Behind the Scenes: White House Chefs Prep the Kids' State Dinner

    You can watch the Kids' State Dinner live today at 10 am EST

    Today's Kids' State Dinner is a White House original in many ways -- it's not only the first time the guests of honor are ALL under the age of 13, it's also the first time the White House kitchen has served a formal meal where the entire menu was created by "chefs" who have no formal training. But Executive Chef Cris Comerford and Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses say they learned a thing or two about healthy cooking from the young winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge -- watch it here: