Throughout my life I have consistently expressed a passion for social justice. Because of this, I have always admired strong female advocates of equality. I was immediately drawn to studying Michelle Obama due to her charisma, compassion, and capacity to motivate and call others to action. She is recognized world-wide for her accomplishments as the 44th First Lady of the United States. During her eight years in the White House, Michelle chose to address racism, women’s rights, and public health, all of which are issues that I am extremely passionate about. Although her time as First Lady is over, Michelle continues to leave a powerful legacy, not just as the nation’s first African-American First Lady and fierce defender of her husband’s policies, but as an activist for a healthier nation and access to educational opportunity.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Born in 1964, Michelle Obama grew up in a small house in Chicago, Illinois. By the sixth grade, she was taking classes in her school’s gifted program, and eventually attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School; the city’s first magnet high school for gifted children. There she graduated as class salutatorian and moved on to study at Princeton and Harvard. As an Ivy League graduate, she built a successful career as a lawyer which she continued throughout her husband’s early political career. Concerned about the effect the campaign would have on their young daughters, Michelle was initially reluctant to support the idea of her husband’s run for the presidency. Despite her initial misgivings, she proved to be an effective surrogate for him on the campaign trail. After her husband’s election, she chose several causes to support; advocating for support for military families and encouraging healthy eating to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity. As a young mother, a fashion icon and the first African-American first lady, Michelle Obama became a role model to many people around the world.

I feel as though, in some ways, my academic experiences have mirrored those of Michelle Obama. She grew up in a close-knit family that supported her educational aspirations and attended a school for gifted learners in high school. I aspire to follow Michelle’s footsteps in being accepted into the university of my choice and working hard there to create a successful future for myself. Furthermore, I have quite similar values and personality traits as Michelle Obama. I believe that to truly lead and inspire you must be willing to stand up for what you believe in and live by your values. I have a very strong character and a willingness to fight adversity for what I believe in. A large component of Michelle’s charm is her public speaking skills and ability to address controversial issues. Before moving to Washington Michelle worked as a lawyer and fought injustice through Chicago’s City Hall. I have a very strong sense of justice and similar aspirations of working in politics or law to address important social issues. Michelle’s empathy and compassion for people of all walks of life has allowed her to reach many people worldwide. She uses her platform to remind the world that everyone has a voice and the ability to make a positive change in the world. I strongly believe in Michelle’s philosophies and try to implement them into my own life.

Being an African-American woman born and raised in the United States, Michelle Obama has been forced to overcome many adversities due to her race and gender. I can relate to the challenges of gender inequality but not her constant battle with racial discrimination. As I progress through this project I intend to acknowledge these barriers. My goal is to learn about the racial and gender struggles she faced and how she became a champion for equality.

Throughout this project I hope to learn about the lasting impacts that Michelle Obama has had on the United States as well as the world. I believe that studying Michelle will open my mind to new ways of giving back to my community and standing up for what I believe in. I also think that Michelle’s journey and hard work throughout her schooling will inspire me to continue working hard in order to achieve my goals. This assignment relates to my IEP goal of contributing to my school and community. Michelle Obama has been extremely involved in her community as well as creating national and international campaigns to inspire others to volunteer. Her deeds are very inspiring and the motivate others to give back to their communities.

“And in my own life, in my own small way, I’ve tried to give back to this country that has given me so much. That’s why I left a job at a law firm for a career in public service, working to empower young people to volunteer in their communities. Because I believe that each of us — no matter what our age or background or walk of life — each of us has something to contribute to the life of this nation.”

– Michelle Obama