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FLOTUS

First Published as “FLOTUS” on http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1271716 CNN iReport

First Lady of The United States – Michelle Obama a.k.a. Encourager in Chief

By:  George Addison

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not
always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once
but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have
because history has shown us that courage can be contagious
and hope can take on a life of its own.”
― Michelle Obama

If you ever have the opportunity to meet First Lady, Michelle Obama, or hear her

Official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama in the Green Room of the White House, Feb. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

speak, you quickly realize that “what you see is what you get.”  Whether advocating for military families, promoting healthier lifestyles for children, or encouraging youth to get educated and follow their dreams, you come away with a true sense of inspiration and purpose.

During her time as First Lady, she has tirelessly worked to inspire young people and adults. She attacked obesity through Let’s Move!  The program encourages kids to get physically active, while asking companies to provide healthier food choices for them and their families.

She started other initiatives such as Joining Forces spearheaded by her and Dr. Jill Biden.  It’s a nationwide effort to get Americans to support military members and their families by providing wellness, employment and educational opportunities via both the public and private sectors.

Reach Higher LogoReach Higher is another program launched by the First Lady to inspire youth to complete their education by attending trade school, community college or a four-year university.  The program exposes youth to various career opportunities, support high school counselors, and helps youth understand financial aid eligibility and more.

This year the First Lady and President Obama introduced the Let Girls Learn initiative which strives to help girls worldwide go to school and commit themselves to their own education.

It’s because of her leadership on initiatives like the ones mentioned, along with her enthusiasm and inspiration, that thousands of people across America view the First Lady as “Encourager in Chief.”

Shant’a Miller-Synaker, Founder and CEO of Parents Against Bullying of Virginia, Inc.,

Shant'a Miller-Synaker. Photo Courtesy: P.A.B.

P.A.B. CEO Shant’a Miller-Synaker. Photo Courtesy: P.A.B.

is one of those individuals that finds strength and encouragement from the words and deeds of the First Lady.

She founded her organization after her twin daughters Iyana and Keyana were terrorized through bullying.  Since then, she has been instrumental in bringing awareness and education to help break the cycle of bullying in schools and communities.

Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price. Photo Courtesy: City of Newport News

Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price. Photo Courtesy: City of Newport News

On October 24th, 2015, community partners, Peninsula Towne Center and Bryant & Stratton College, will turn the Hampton mall into a “No Bully Zone.  On October 25th, 2015 P.A.B. kicks off their 3rd Annual 1000 Youth March in partnership with Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price and his city initiative to end bullying.

Its efforts like this which garnered Miller-Synaker praise from First Lady Michelle Obama.  In a letter the First Lady said of Miller-Synaker, “Active citizens and strong organizations are the cornerstone of our democracy, and so I thank you and all those you work with for engaging in the important work of true citizenship.  Our strength as a country and our ability to responsibly shape our future depends on informed and impassioned Americans.”

The First Lady added, “We are at a critical moment in our Nation’s history, and we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to solve the problems that we face.  America needs your hands, your hearts, and your hard work now more than ever.  History tells us that when we come together as a Nation with a sense of purpose and a spirit of service, no challenge is too great.”

The letter ends with the First Lady thanking Miller-Synaker for all she does in her community, for daring to innovate, for dreaming big, and for finding ways to create a better tomorrow.

Miller-Synaker recalls the day she received the letter saying, “When I walked up to the mailbox and saw the envelope sticking out and it read “The White House” I couldn’t believe it.  I opened the letter and I began to get short of breath and my eyes filled with tears.  The words of encouragement and strong expression about the need for the things that we are doing in the community gave me chills.  The letter gave me the recharge and energy to keep pushing.”

Miller-Synaker further stated, “It was truly the confirmation that the long nights and sweat and tears during the days in the community was not in vain.  I am truly grateful to have received this letter.  I have framed it.  I pray this sets the tone and the legacy for my children and grandchildren to always fight the fight for what is right.”

PAB SEEDS FLYER12015 PAB YOUTH MARCH

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