Michelle Robinson – Obama 1964 January 17th

” Michelle Obama’s life begn on January 17th 1962, the South Side of Chicago, where Fraser and Marian Robinson instilled in their daughter a commitment to family, hard work, and education. Her father was a pump operator for the Chicago Water Department, while her mother stayed at home to care for Michelle and her older brother Craig. As she watched her father refuse to give in to multiple sclerosis, use two canes to get to his job, and save money to send her to college, she learned that “the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”

Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School. In 1988, she returned to Chicago to join a law firm. It was there that she met Barack Obama, a summer associate she was assigned to advise. They were married in 1992.

By that time Michelle had turned her energies to public service. She was assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago’s City Hall before becoming the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of PublicAllies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares young people for public service. In 1996, she joined the University of Chicago as associate dean of student services, where she developed the university’s first community service program. In 2002, she went to work for the University of Chicago Medical Center, where in 2005 she became the vice president of community and external affairs. During these years the Obamas’ daughters Malia and Sasha were born.

As first lady, Michelle Obama initiated Let’s Move! a program aiming to end childhood obesity.Through it, elected officials, business leaders, educators, parents, and faith leaders worked together to provide more nutritious food in schools, bring healthy and affordable food into underserved communities, plant vegetable gardens across America, and provide new opportunities for kids to be more active. Each year local schoolchildren helped plant and harvest the garden she started on the White House South Lawn. Its vegetables and fruits were served at the White House and donated to soup kitchens and food banks.

Throughout her time in the White House Mrs. Obama worked to support veterans and military families. She also focused her energies on what she calls her most important role: Mom-in-Chief to her daughters.

“If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

“You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.”

“Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”

“Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.”

“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

“The lesson being that in life you control what you can.”

“just do what works for you, because there will always be someone who think diffenrently…”

“Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.”

“Am I good enough? Yes, I am.” +

“And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”

“Inspiration on its own was shallow; you had to back it up with hard work.”

“It was possible, I knew, to live on two planes at once—to have one’s feet planted in reality but pointed in the direction of progress.”

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