First Lady Michelle Obama gave the keynote address at the Lunch for the Girls this afternoon, telling young women to work hard and surround themselves with positive people.
Mrs. Obama thanked the parents, Girls, Inc. staff, volunteers and community for their support of the girls. The First Lady says girls being strong, smart and bold isn’t just about getting good grades, but also about being a good friend, taking care of your body by getting active and eating right, and giving back to the community.
"Because of you they are doing things they probably never would’ve been able to do, they are exploring museums, going to the theater. They’re learning to read, they’re learning to balance a check book. They’re learning to change the oil in their car. So with all of your activities and programs, more importantly with all the love and support that you pour into these girls, you’re not simply giving them something to do, you’re giving them something to be.”
With more than 50% of the workforce being female and 30% of businesses owned by women, the First Lady says supporting the success of women equals a stronger economy in the future. Mrs. Obama says it’s important to show girls they can be anything they dream of as long as they stay true to who they are.
"We know how much pressure there is on our girls to fit in. And we know how many negative messages, images and stereotypes are out there about how they should look, how they should act. But we also know what it takes for girls to rise above all that. It is possible. It takes support of communities."
After her remarks, Mrs. Obama took questions from a few of the girls and shook hands with several audience members.
For more information on Girls, Inc., the website is www.girlsincomaha.org.