Michelle Obama - January 6, 2017 - LEAD
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

On Friday morning, Michelle Obama gave her final speech as the First Lady of the United States at the 2017 School Counselor of the Year event in the East Room of the White House. The powerful speech focused on her on-going campaigns to get kids excited about college, through her Reach Higher initiative, and the all-around importance of education in a young person's life.

As she neared the end of her speech Obama started choking up, recognizing the finality of the moment as her last speech as FLOTUS, but assuring those whom she has supported over the last decade, that she isn't going anywhere. "I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong, so don’t be afraid. You hear me? Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused, be determined, be hopeful, be empowered," she said. "Lead by example with hope, never fear, and know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life."

She called upon her and Barack Obama's campaign platform that brought them to the White House eight years ago: a message of hope. "When you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago, something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment in our lives," she said to the audience and those watching at home. "And that is the power of hope, the belief that something better is always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it."

Watch the Speech at the 2:18:40 mark:

"I want to close today by simply saying thank you," Obama concluded with tears in her eyes. "Being your First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I've made you proud."