the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

Search form

The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the First Lady during visit with students from "Make a Difference" program

5:36 P.M. IST

      MRS. OBAMA:  I love dancing.  Oh, that was fun!  (Applause.)  We should do that again.  (Applause.)  Okay, we’ll do that before we leave.

      I just want to thank you all.  Thank you.  And I want to thank all of your teachers and mentors.  Do you know how lucky you are, just lucky and blessed, because if you keep working hard, education is all that you need to be whatever you want to be.  That's it.

      I didn’t grow up with a lot of money.  I mean, my parents -- I had two parents.  I was lucky to have two parents, and they always had a job, but we didn’t have a lot of money.  But it was because of working hard, and studying, and learning how to write and read, and then I got a chance to go to college, and then college opened up the world to me, I started seeing all these things that I could be or do, and I never even imagined being the First Lady of the United States.  But because I had an education, when the time came to do this, I was ready.

      So just remember there is nothing that you guys can’t do.  You know, you have everything it takes to be successful and smart and to raise a family, right?

      What do you say?  You’ve got something to say.  (Laughter.)

      That's all you need.  And you’ve got a great start because you’ve got all -- there are so many young people like your teachers who care about you guys.  And there are many programs like -- just like this one in the United States where young -- I call these young people -- to you they seem old, but to me they’re young -- but they’re helping kids all across the country.  And we should give -- let’s give a hand, a clap, for your -- all of your teachers and mentors and all the volunteers who help.  (Applause.)

      So I don't know if you feel comfortable -- you have to sort of ignore those people there.  Pretend like they’re not here.  Do you guys want to ask any questions?  Is there anything that you want to know?  Even -- don't worry about it being the -- saying it the right way.  If there's something that you want to know, or did you want to talk about, that I can tell you -- anybody?

      Yes.

      Q     I feel like my dream come true.

      MRS. OBAMA:  You feel like your dream has come true?

      Q     Yes.

      MRS. OBAMA:  Why, because of me?

      Q     Yes!

      MRS. OBAMA:  No!

      Q     Yes!

      MRS. OBAMA:  No, you are my dream come true.

      Q     This is a dream for me -- (laughter.)

      MRS. OBAMA:  Well, we are very proud of you all.  We’re very proud, you know?  When me and the President get a little tired because our work gets hard sometimes, it’s because -- it’s when we get to spend time with you all that we go, yeah, this is what it’s all about.  This is why we do what we do, because we’re trying to make this whole world better so that kids like you have the opportunities, the same opportunities, as every other kid, right?  That's what we’re working for.

      So we’re very proud of you.  We’re proud of the amount of energy that you put into learning, the excitement that you put into dancing, and to learning how to spell, and to learning how to speak English.  You guys are going to do great.  You’re going to do just great.  All right?

      So thank you.  Thanks for letting me spend time with you.

      Anybody else have anything they want to say or ask -- or practice?  (Laughter.)

      Oh, if that’s the case, then I think we should dance some more.  Let’s dance some more!  One more dance!  You guys show me one more dance?  (Applause.)  All right, show me one more dance.

                                        END                           5:40 P.M. IST