24 Jun Michelle Obama: Changing Lives for the Next Generation
“Sometimes it takes sitting in this room to make you start dreaming about all that you can be.”
This was how Michelle Obama welcomed middle school students to a music workshop led by Smokey Robinson, Esperanza Spalding, MC Lyte, Trombone Shorty and Keb’ Mo’ held in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington in October 2015. Just imagine if you had heard those inspiring words as the musicians sat before you with their instruments, you would believe you could achieve your dream!
This introduction is a great example of how Michelle Obama inspires others to achieve their goals and believe in their dreams for a bright future. Relishing in your opportunities sums up Michelle Obama’s enthusiasm to improve the lives of the next generation – making the world a better place. It isn’t such a huge dream! She shares the same vision as the team at Advance Performance.
“Commit to your education because every time you stretch your mind, you boost your confidence, and add power and credibility to your voice.”
Michelle Obama’s dedication to pursuing education to follow your dreams has been achieved through two long term initiatives. The Reach Higher initiative was launched in 2014 to encourage the pursuit of higher education among students of all backgrounds and economic levels, and the new campaign, Let Girls Learn, began in 2015 to help girls around the world attend and stay in school. She can genuinely speak from her experience and be a role model for hard work and commitment to education, and taking up her opportunities.
Michelle’s inspiration and dedication is reflected through authenticity. She has a very clear “Why” in each goal – to change the lives of the next generation for the better. As you have learned on your Advance courses, the focus on the “Why” in your goal is integral to creating further goals.
“We can give all our children the bright, healthy futures they so richly deserve.”
One of her biggest legacies is the Let’s Move campaign which she introduced in 2010 as part of a strategy to eliminate childhood obesity. This campaign has shown her Mom side as she has danced with children, Big Bird and even a turnip to get her message across of healthy eating and taking exercise. She can join in the dance but she can also negotiate with Walmart and the Government to change food labelling, lower salt and sugar content, and ensure smaller food products. Her charismatic personality and empathy has enabled her to seamlessly cross the divide of generations, classes, children, politicians to business leaders, bringing people together with one clear aim: to eliminate childhood obesity.
Michelle Obama’s empathy and genuine connection with people of all backgrounds is key to her ability to inspire others to achieve their goals. Peter Slevin, author of the biography Michelle Obama: A Life said: “She has found a way to deliver her message in a largely unfiltered way by going straight to her audiences, and by going places where her audiences live. She’s using every tool of social media yet invented, and she seems to be using new ones every month.”
This final point is an excellent tool for us all to follow to inspire the next generation. Obama’s use of Instagram, Youtube videos, and Twitter account in particular draw in audiences who would never see her on the news or through newspaper websites. She connects through the technology and modern communication that her audience is using – the next generation whom she endeavours to inspire to live better lives. Whatever her next campaign will be after she leaves the White House, Michelle Obama will undoubtedly inspire many other young people to live their dreams.