East Room, The White House
President Biden and I are honored to have all of you at the White House for this first-ever celebration of Girls Leading Change.
I’m grateful to all the congresswomen who have taken the time to be here today and see these girls represent their states.
The girls on this stage are using their voices to change their communities and shine a light on issues that are often overlooked.
They’re protecting and preserving the earth, writing and sharing stories that change minds, using their summer breaks to testify before their state legislature, and turning their pain into purpose.
We often tell young people like all of you that you’re the future. And it’s true.
But you’re also our present.
There was no magic moment when you were given the keys to change the world, no dividing line between dreaming of leading and becoming a leader. You saw something that you knew was wrong and you decided to fix it.
You represent every girl’s potential – like every girl in this room. Because every girl can do incredible things, and you’re never too young to fight for what you believe in.
We need your insight and your innovation, your strength and your hope – right now.
I know we all want to get to know these young women a little more. So, we’ve asked them to introduce each other, and share what makes each of them shine.
I’m going to bring you up in pairs.
When women lift each other up, when we celebrate each other’s successes, when we help each other soar, it’s always so powerful.
Now, let’s open up the floor to the younger girls joining us and invite them to ask all of you some questions, so we can learn from the power of your examples.
Thank you for those questions. And I want to thank the girls up here for their thoughtful answers.
As you walk forward on the path of your life, I want you to remember who’s behind you, these girls following your path.
To the young girls in the audience, I hope you leave here knowing that your boldness is beautiful, that you belong in all places of power, that your future can be anything you want it to be, and that you will never be in this alone.
So, before we part today, I want us all to stop for a second and look around at the strong women and girls who have gathered to support each other, to offer their kinship.
Remember this feeling – I know I will.
Wrap yourselves in this moment. And carry it with you always, draw on it during those hard days.
And, together, we will help each other find our voices, carry our dreams forward, pull others along, and rise higher than ever before.