Michelle Obama: ‘Diversity Is Not A Threat To Who We Are’

Kaitlan Collins | White House Correspondent

Michelle Obama just gave her final public remarks.

(Photo: ABC screen grab)

(Photo: ABC screen grab)

The first lady got emotional as she spoke about her efforts to change the national conversation surrounding higher education while hosting 50 school counselors at the White House on Friday. (RELATED: Everyone Is Talking About The Dress Michelle Obama Wore To The Kennedy Center)

“We had one goal in mind: we wanted to make higher education cool,” Obama said. “We wanted to change the conversation around what it means and what it takes to get into college. If we are always shining the light on athletes and celebrities — and those are the only achievements we celebrate — then why would kids see college as a priority? We decided to flip the script and shine a big light on higher education.”

“We are very proud of everything this administration has done to make college more affordable,” she continued.

“We made it easier to apply for financial aid. We created a college score card to help students chose the right school. All together we made — in this administration — the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. bill.”

“More young people than ever before are going to college.” (RELATED: Michelle Obama: It Was ‘Painful’ To Watch The Presidential Election This Year)

“As I end my time in the White House, I can think of no better message to send to young people. To all young people in this room, know that this country belongs to you. To all of you. From every background and walk of life. If you or your parents are immigrants, know that  you are part of a proud American tradition — the infusion of new cultures. That has made us the greatest country on earth. If your family doesn’t have much money, plenty of folks including game and my husband. We started out with very little. But with a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is possible — even becoming president. That’s what the American dream is all about.”

“Diversity is not a threat to who we are. It makes us who we are. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter because you do and you have a right to be exactly who you are.”

“Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I made you proud.”

Celebrities like Usher, Kelly Rowland, University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and rapper Wale were all in attendance.

“All these folks are here because they’re using their star power to influence young people.” (RELATED: The Obamas Thank Troops In Final Visit To Hawaii Base)

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