Girls Inc. is happy to share that members of our Young Women in Leadership program were able to attend the Moderated Conversation with Michelle Obama that took place in Indianapolis last week.

We’ve asked two of the girls to share their thoughts on the experience:

michelle group photo








“Seeing Michelle Obama was surreal. It was unbelievable. When she first stepped out, it felt like a dream. I knew she was here in Indiana, and that she was sitting in that chair on the stage, but my mind was just denying it. After a few minutes, I settled down and listened closely to every word she spoke. Every word was golden, and I soaked it in like a sponge. The thing that made this experience so amazing was not that she was the First Lady, or that she was famous, or even that she had done all these great things – what truly was incredible was that she was real. Michelle was authentic and human. She has gone through struggles just like I have and she’s had amazing accomplishments just like I have, but again she was raw and real. I think that is what attracts so many people to listen to her.

She talked about how she was surrounded by people who supported her and guided her to the right path. As she talked about how family was so important, it made me think of how my family is important to me, which is something I realized I took for granted. I never realized how crucial family could be in guiding you, and how I should appreciate what I have and lean on my family. If I could use one word to describe the experience I would use the word “real” because everything she said was spoken in truth.”

– Joleena Mundy









“Last week I was given the opportunity to attend the Michelle Obama event and listen to her speak. Michelle has proven on multiple occasions to be an inspirational woman, encouraged by her determination to improve our country for the greater good. It was obvious walking in, without explanation, that this conversation would be something to remember.

Michelle made a comment that really stuck with me. She said, “When you know who you are, nobody can take that from you.” Living in today’s society, it can still be hard to gain equal respect, wage, and courtesy based on your sex, religion, culture, etc. Michelle made it a point to speak positively about those controversies and to find a silver lining within them. Coming from a teen, I think that’s something that all adolescents need to hear. No kid should be judged or stereotyped. Each child should feel as if they get to define themselves and that they’re being invested in. Michelle touched on each of those points, and it’s fair to say her words touched everyone.

On another note, Michelle talked about the work that truly goes in to being a first lady. What most Americans don’t see is that she sits in on all of the important meetings and has some of her own duties too. Most importantly though, Michelle has the job of being a mom. Not only did she work to make the white house open to her children, she made it open to other children as well. What made her and Barack so special was their willingness to invite children to experience the white house and realize it can be an obtainable goal.

Overall, Mrs. Obama touched on many important topics, but the two that stuck out to me most were her duties as a mom and First Lady and her view on an important controversy. To say the least, she was inspirational to every person lucky enough to be in the arena, and this was an experience I will never forget.”

– Aeriana Wiegand