WASHINGTON -- First Lady Michelle Obama fought back tears Friday as she offered a closing message to America’s youth.
“Don’t be afraid, you hear me? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined,” she said.
She also touted her program for secondary education. It was one of the many initiatives she launched as she danced her way through late night TV to tackle childhood obesity, promoted healthy eating on social media and used her celebrity to inspire physical fitness.
Obama didn’t want her husband to run for president, and had a rude political awakening when she was criticized as angry and unpatriotic for comments in 2008.
Photos: Michelle Obama delivers final remarks as First Lady
“For the first time in my adult lifetime I am really proud of my country,” she famously said in that 2008 speech in Madison, Wisconsin.
Seven years later, in a Tuskegee University commencement address, she talked openly about her experience as the first African American first lady.
“Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating?” she said.
But Obama turned into the Democrats’ not so secret weapon, and last year delivered a blistering takedown of Donald Trump after video showed him bragging about sexual assault.
“This is not normal. This is not politics as usual,” she said of Trump’s comments about groping women.
While she and her husband now leave the White House to Trump, Obama said she’ll always hold on to the power of hope.
“Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope I’ve made you proud,” she said.