Before she was gracing the covers of magazines and hosting international heads of state, First Lady Michelle Obama was a working woman balancing a career, raising two children and supporting a husband in Congress.
Mrs. Obama grew up on the South Side of Chicago but later went on to study sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin.
As the first African-American first lady this country has seen, Mrs. Obama has won the American public over with her warm smile, elegance, poise and intelligence. While President Obama has had a tough time tackling such issues as healthcare reform, high unemployment rates, and multiple wars abroad, Mrs. Obama isn’t simply sitting on the sidelines but she has taken on a few causes of her own.
Over the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among American children of all age groups, increasing nearly five-fold among those ages 6-11. Today, nearly 25 million children are overweight or obese. Some experts believe that if obesity among children continues to increase, our current generation of children will become the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents.
Mrs. Obama has taken on the cause of fighting childhood obesity through her initiative, Let’s Move! The program, launched in February 2010, is a comprehensive initiative, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let’s Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years, giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices.
“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake,” said Mrs. Obama. “By investing in even one grocery store you might be able to revitalize just one neighborhood. By building more sidewalks [today] you can reduce health costs and budget strain tomorrow.”
Let’s Move puts a particular focus on providing healthier foods in our schools, ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food and helping kids become more physically active.
In addition to tackling childhood obesity the first lady is turning her attention toward military families by launching a program to ensure U.S. troops and their loved ones have the support they need.
The initiative “Joining Forces,” is aimed at shoring up military families in a range of areas, including education, employment and wellness.
Mrs. Obama said the initiative will include a public-awareness campaign, additional help for children of troops and veterans and partnerships with some of the country’s biggest employers, who have agreed to redouble their efforts to hire veterans and their spouses.
“This campaign is about all of us, all of us joining together, as Americans, to give back to the extraordinary military families who serve and sacrifice so much, every day, so that we can live in freedom and security,” she said. “Joining Forces is a challenge to every segment of American society to take action, to make a real commitment to supporting and engaging these families.”
With no guarantee that President Obama will win reelection in 2012 Michelle Obama has already made history and become an iconic figure in American history. She is an American mother, wife, attorney, public servant and our FIRST LADY.
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