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Spotlight: Michelle Obama

by Minority Fortune

It’s about time that we focus on an individual who has been doing things the right way and celebrate it. A person who is more than deserving of this spotlight would be none other than the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. While she has become renowned for being the spouse of President Obama, she has continuously held remarkable credentials of her own. Her story is even more inspiring given the fact that she grew up on the south side of Chicago and overcame adversity. While she’s gotten much attention for her fashion flair, her background proves that she’s always had much, much more going on.


Michelle had a stellar record beginning even from her days in high school, where she earned honor roll each year and took advancement classes. After becoming inspired by her brother, she decided to attend Princeton University. She majored in sociology and minored in African American studies. She even wrote a thesis entitled, “Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community.” She immediately went on to attend Harvard Law School, earning a JD in 1988.


Michelle_Obama_wavingAfter earning her JD, Michelle worked as an associate at the Sidley Austin law firm in Chicago. While there, she focused on marketing and intellectual property. From there, she switched over to the public sector and focused on government positions, serving as an Assistant to the Mayor and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development. Later she became the Executive Director for the non-profit Public Allies, which encouraged young people to participate in issues with non-profits and government agencies. According to Wikipedia, she worked there nearly four years and set fundraising records for the organization that still stood 12 years after she left. After her work in the public sector, she became the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago where she focused on the University’s Community Service Center. Six years later, she worked at the University of Chicago Hospitals as an executive director for community affairs, which then led to her last position as the VP for Community and External Affairs. In 2006, her salary was an impressive $273,618.


Michelle has a clear track record in giving back to society and speaking out against injustice. While in undergrad at Princeton, she contested the teaching styles for French in favor of a more conversational approach. Her thesis highlighted issues surrounding the black community. Later, she would even speak out in favor for more diversity for the private school that her two daughters attended in Chicago. As the first lady, she has decided to combat childhood obesity. It’s apparent from Michelle’s background that she has always held the community in high regard.

Things to Learn

michelle_obamaMichelle Obama proves that we can all achieve remarkable things if we put our mind to it. We don’t have to come from privileged, wealthy families to eventually end up in a place equal to or higher than that of privileged families. The sky is the limit. Her successes have taught us a few things:

• Get an education. Learning is important, whether or not it is from an Ivy League school. Strive to get as much education as possible.
• Give back. Work to make the world a better place than it was before. Speak out against injustices and put in the work to back up your claims.
• Give it your everything. In everything you do, be exceptional.
• Follow your passions. Michelle could have kept a career as a lawyer in a high profile law firm but followed the path true to her heart. In the end, you’ll probably end up with a rewarding career and a lofty salary if you stay true to the work that impassions you.
• Find a compatible partner than complements you and strives you to accomplish even greater things.

Michelle’s background proves that she was always exceptional in everything that she did. We encourage you to follow in her footsteps and become just as phenomenal!

*Images courtesy of Confabulous and TRB. Information courtesy of Wikipedia.
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