Michelle Obama: A Woman of Heart

Michelle Obama: A Woman of Heart | CIO Women Magazine

Credit- Miller Mobley

Michelle Obama, the first lady of America, the wife of the 44th President of America, Barack Obama. She was born on 17th January 1964 in Illinois, Chicago. Multi-talented woman with a heart to contribute to society to her level best is what Michelle Obama is known for. She has a zeal for contributing to society, raises her voice against color discrimination which prevails, and passes on the fitness message to all. A dynamic person as she is, her principles and the giving back attitude are what have made her the ideal personality that she is today. In this article, we take you on the journey of knowing who is Michelle in real and what you can learn from her. 

A Quick Background Screening: 

Michelle Robinson grew up in Chicago’s South side. She is the daughter of Frasier Robinson and Marian Robinson. Frasier, her father, was a pump operator in Chicago’s water purification plant. Her mother, Marian was a homemaker. Michelle studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University.

Before sociology, she has also attended Harvard Law School. She returned to Chicago and took a job as a junior associate at Sidley & Austin, where she specialized in intellectual property laws. In 1989, she met Barack Obama when working there. He was hired as a summer associate. Being more interested in public service-oriented-path, in 1991, she joined as an assistant to Mayor Richard M. Daley.  

PLEZi: A Health-oriented Beverage for Kids:

Since 1996 Michelle continued her efforts to do noble deeds. As a people person and a fitness enthusiast, her focus is to provide good quality foods and drinks. She launched a company named PLEZi in 2015. It was designed to give healthy options for kids to drink. She wanted to bring in nutritious foods for kids without any added sugars. The first product of PLEZi was a drink for kids aged between 6 to 12 years. It has 75% less sugar and no added preservatives. Fiber and potassium are on a higher side in this drink, she says. 

An Empath for Those in Need:

In 1996, Michelle joined the University of Chicago, as an Associate Dean of Student Services, to bring the campus and community together. Under her regime, she successfully developed the University’s first community service program. As the Vice President of Community and External Affairs, her volunteerism reached new heights. Here’s a list:

Michelle Obama: A Woman of Heart | CIO Women Magazine
Source – dvaita.org
  1. Let’s Move:

In 2010, Michelle launched the campaign Let’s Move. She brought together educators, medical professionals, community leaders, parents, and others in a nationwide effort to address the challenge of childhood obesity. This initiative has a progressive goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity. The initiative provides healthier foods in schools, helps kids to be more physically active, or urges companies to market healthier foods for children. Let’s Move is an extension of the PLEZi company’s vision and mission statement. 

  1. Reach Higher:

To empower students via education, in 2014, Michelle started the Reach Higher campaign. To encourage students to complete their education past high school, she launched this campaign. It was an urge to students to enroll themselves in college degree programs, to join a community college, or a professional training program. “Reach Higher” aims to ensure that all students should understand the “why education is important” factor. The initiative exposes students to various colleges and educational institutes, the initiative helps students understand financial aid eligibility, and also provides summer learning opportunities. 

  1. Let Girls Learn:

2015, Mrs. Obama joined President Obama in launching the ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative. It was a U.S. government initiative to help girls go to school and stay in school, whoever needs to  do so. As part of this effort, Mrs. Obama calls on various countries across the globe to educate and liberate young women. She shares the stories of these women with the students in her ‘Reach Higher’ initiative, so they know the struggles the women are going through to get a basic education. It is also for them to understand the importance of getting aid for education.  

  1. Joining Forces:

In 2011, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch ‘Joining Forces’. It was a nationwide initiative that called all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families. It was a calling to support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities. This initiative worked together with the public and private sectors to make sure that the veterans, service members, and their families had the necessary tools to succeed in life. 

These were the 4 main initiatives that Michelle Obama started. Via these social initiatives, she has become a role model for women and an advocate for healthy families. Other service members, veterans, and their respective families were also a part of the initiative which got immense help to lead a good, healthy, and financially stable life. 

Becoming: An Autobiography:

A book written by Michelle Obama, Becoming is her life’s journey. It includes her early life while growing up on the South Side of Chicago with her parents Frazer and Marian Robinson. It was an upstairs apartment where she got her first piano lessons and learned to be an independent girl while her parents took care of her.

Further, the book goes ahead by taking us through her education at Princeton University and Harvard Law School. It also has traces of her early stage career at a law firm named Sidley Austin, where she met Barack Obama. It covers further the marriage, her conceiving issues, the IVF treatment she had to go through, and many other personal and career elements that are worth a read. Her journey is inspirational and will keep giving us hope for life. It will keep on reminding us to move forward. 

Michelle Obama: A Woman of Heart | CIO Women Magazine
Source – CFDA

Some facts about the Star:

  1. Beauty with brains: 

Michelle excelled in school. She and her brother, Craig, both skipped the second grade. She graduated salutatory of her high class in 1981. Her school name was Whitney M. Young High School, the first magnet school in Chicago. Jesse Jackson’s daughter, Santita, was her classmate. 

  1. A tall height:

Michelle Obama is 5-foot 11 inches tall. Her husband, Barack Obama is 6 foot 1 inches tall. 

  1. Brilliant Student:

Michelle Obama was a brilliant student too. She pursued sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University and graduated with distinction in 1985. Further, she went to Harvard University where her husband has been too. 

Michelle’s Career Took an Unexpected Turn:

During the early 1990’s she had to rethink her career path. After the death of her father and a close friend, she decided to leave her corporate law field to work in public service and be selfless. She took a job in the mayor’s office and then in the city’s office of planning and development. In 1993, she became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago, an AmeriCorps national service program. It provided training to young adults who wanted to pursue careers in the public sector. 

  1. A Fitness Freak:

Michelle Obama is a fitness freak and it is quite visible. She has shared her fitness regime in many news articles to inspire women to be fit. It is a reminder for every person out there, to lead a healthy lifestyle. Her meticulous efforts and commitment to ward fitness and exercise have been an inspiration to all. The arms full of toned muscles quite vividly depict her commitment to working out. 

  1. Fashionista:

Occasionally, Michelle Obama likes to don pricey designer fabrics. She is, both, praised and criticized, for her fashion sense. It is said that she is a fan of budget-friendly brands like J. Crew and H&M. On the expensive front, she has sported Lanvin Sneakers worth $515. She was volunteering then at a food bank. On the gracious occasion of a reception regarding the London Olympic Games with the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, she sported a $6800 J. Mendel jacket for a visit to Buckingham Palace. 

  1. Multiple Tasks:

Michelle Obama is the author of a best-selling book where she wrote about the White House garden. She joined millions of children in breaking the Guinness world record for jumping jacks. Moreover, she has helped almost 50,000 veterans and military spouses to get jobs through her Joining Forces initiative. 

Qualities of Michelle Obama:

Michelle Obama: A Woman of Heart | CIO Women Magazine
Credit – Brad Barket
  1. Zeal for Social Work: Michelle Obama has a strong personality and an ability to call others to action. She isn’t a typical first lady. Her ability to motivate, inspire, and take action is immensely flawless. Many of the controversial social issues were faced by her, but she went through it all like a confident and powerful woman. It made her an iconic figure and her legacy will remain for a long time
  2. Inspirational: Michelle Obama was able to transform political lines and radical divides. She has inspired millions of people, without any doubt. Michelle kept her stand about the power of the individual is paramount, and why you shouldn’t underestimate your ability to inspire real change in the community. 
  3. Compassionate: Empathy and compassion are needed to maintain healthy and harmonious relationships in the organization. She went on to establish the Chicago chapter of Public Allies. It was a humble effort from her side to prepare youth to join the civil service. Being compassionate is a way to people’s hearts. It earned her the trust and respect of the employees and maintained employee retention. 
  4. Strong Character: Michelle Obama was always vocal and honest about the stark realities faced by minorities in America. This topic was picked up in a 2015 commencement speech at Tuskegee University. There she reminded black students to stay strong and resilient against the odds. She truly believes in standing up for what she believes in and living by her values. 
  5. Powerful Speaker: Michelle Obama has a powerful communication tact. She had an astonishing way of keeping people hooked to her presence and making them feel they were a part of something big. She gave powerful speeches about her experience as a black woman competing in academia. She also emphasized the need to stand up for women’s rights. 

Conclusion

Michelle Obama is a dynamic woman with multiple qualities to admire. While raising daughters Malia and Natasha, she handled her all responsibilities effortlessly. Managing her time, fulfilling the duties towards her social activities, and raising the kids, she managed it all. Excellent time management skill is her trait to admire.

Nobody has enough hours in the day, so you need to define the priority tasks and complete them as decided no matter what. She is a personality that will be remembered and remembered for many years. Her contribution to society, speaking up for empowering women and children, and providing education to a majority of children in need have made her inspirational for many.  

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