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Michelle Obama tells graduates to let hardships and failures inspire them

June 15, 2015 Michelle Obama, wife of American president Barack Obama, inspired high school graduates in Chicago’s King College Prep when she encouraged them to let their struggles and hardships inspire, rather than deter them.

Michelle Obama agreed to speak at the school’s graduation after its students won a nationwide video competition as part of her Reach Higher initiative, which aims to inspire American students to get educated beyond high school. The video the students made was inspired by the hit political drama “Scandal.”

She said to the class, “Instead of your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you. Let them make you even hungrier to succeed. Now I know that many of you have already dealt with some serious losses in your lives. Maybe someone in your family lost a job or struggled with drugs or alcohol or an illness. Maybe you lost someone you love, someone you desperately wish could be with you hear tonight. And I know that many of you are thinking about Hadiya right now and feeling the hole that she has left in your hearts. So yeah, maybe you have ben tested a lot more and a lot earlier in life than many other young people. Maybe you have more scars then they do. Maybe you have days that you feel more tired than someone your age should ever really feel. But graduates tonight I want you to understand that every scar that you have is a reminder not just you got hurt but that your survived.”

The First Lady added

“I guarantee you that there will be all kinds of folks that are eager to help you but they are not going to come knocking on your door to find you. You have to take responsibility to find them so if you are struggling with an assignment go to a tutoring session. If you’re having trouble with a paper then go to a writing center. And if someone isn’t helpful or is impatient or unfriendly then find somebody else. You may have to go to a second or a third or a fourth person but you keep asking. And if you understand that getting help isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength then I guarantee you that you will get what you need to succeed.”

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