THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release March 19, 2009
REMARKS BY THE FIRST LADY
DURING GREETING WITH WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE
Diplomatic Reception Room
9:35 A.M. EDT
MRS. OBAMA: Just let me say, first of all, thank you. This was one of my dreams, let me just tell you. I couldn't have imagined this a year ago, but as we started moving towards this trajectory, that it became increasingly clear that Barack Obama might be the next President of the United States, and as I started thinking about the kinds of things that I wanted to see happen, this day was one of those things -- gathering an amazing group of women together, and going out, and talking to young girls around this country.
But we're here today. Hopefully we can do more and more of this. But this is part of that dream. And I can't thank you enough for taking the time. These girls are just going to be wild today. (Laughter.)
And our task is really simple, you know -- just to share our stories with them. So many of us will be able to see part of ourselves in these young people, because it's not just young girls that we're seeing today; we're going to see some young men, as well. And our job is really to just share our stories, to make these kids understand that where we stand today is not an impossibility by any stretch of the imagination. Even when no one could have predicted it, many of us have forged a path to some amazing things, and we want to share that with these young people.
And then we're going to get back together this evening with a whole 'nother group of young women, and bring them back to this great house that is America's house. Many young people will have never set foot in this place, never could have imagined that they'd be dining in the East Room with so many great people who will be joined by even more women. But just imagine what they're going to feel like at the end of this day. And then we can do this again and again and again. (Laughter and applause.)
Our job is simple: Just be open, be honest, be real, be clear, and have fun. (Laughter.) Well, you know, we have got a President here. So many of you have helped us come to this place. And our job now is to give back and to keep giving back.
And the D.C. community, many of these schools need to see us, they need to be reminded, because some of these schools are struggling even today. Even though they've got this wonderful image of the White House, they need to be reminded that we are -- we're close, this isn't a distant relationship; that they can imagine the people who live here and what goes on here, and that there's a close connection between their lives and ours. And there's nothing more powerful than going into their states and having that kind of conversation.
And that's what today is all about. It is National Women's History Month, but again, we're not just talking about women; we are talking about our young people throughout.
So I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming together this quickly, and taking the time, a whole day out of your lives -- (laughter) -- to share this day with me. So thank you all. (Applause.)
9:38 A.M. EDT