WASHINGTON — After eight years of garden harvests, dance performances, and awards ceremonies, First Lady Michelle Obama delivers her final set of formal remarks at the White House on Friday.
The event honoring the 2017 School Counselor of the Year comes exactly two weeks before President-elect Donald Trump assumes office.
The ceremony, which Obama initiated in 2015, is meant to highlight high school counselors who have demonstrated leadership skills. It’s part of her “Reach Higher” program to promote higher education.
In her time at the White House, Obama has championed education, fitness, and military families, often using the East Room or the South Lawn to speak out on her chosen topics.
She’s also hosted musical and theater performances at the White House, inviting students from Washington schools to partake in cultural events they may not have otherwise experienced.
During last year’s political campaign, she also spoke out forcefully against Trump, arguing in passionate remarks that his comments about women had shaken her.
As she leaves the White House, the first lady has spoken out about what she’ll miss, including the hyper-attentive personal staff and the sense of history.
“You know, there are little … moments,” she told Vogue in November. “Even today, I was looking out at this view here. Looking out on the South Lawn and the Washington Monument and it had just rained and the grass was really green and everything popped a little bit more. It’s so beautiful. And for that moment I thought, I’m going to miss waking up to this, having access to this anytime I want.”
But, she told the magazine, “it’s time.”
Friday’s event won’t be the final time the public will be able to hear from the first lady, however. She’ll make her final late night show appearance next Wednesday on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”