First lady leads mentoring program from DC-area students
March 30th, 2011
07:16 PM ET

First lady leads mentoring program from DC-area students

From CNN Senior Producer Sally Holland and CNN White House Producer Becky Brittain

WASHINGTON (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama invited more than 20 accomplished women to the White House on Wednesday, asking them to serve as mentors for area high school students.

The women, along with the first lady, fanned out across the District of Columbia and surrounding suburbs in the afternoon visiting six local high schools encouraging the teenagers to follow their dreams and work hard to get there.

"There is no magic to being here. You know, Barack and I were not born with silver spoons in our mouths and connections and money and resources. A lot of why we're where we are today is because we worked hard. We felt a deep passion for getting our education," the first lady told students at Ballou High school in Washington.

She recalled having to get up as a child at 6:30 a.m. to ride a bus for an hour and a half to attend a better high school across town, for better preparation for college.

"I know what it feels like to struggle to get the education that you need. In so many ways, I see myself in you all," Mrs. Obama shared. "And I want you to see yourselves in me, so that you're not looking at me just as the first lady of the United States."

Mrs. Obama's events on Wednesday were scheduled as part of the end of National Women's History month.

At Washington's Woodson High school, the four mentors included an Air Force general, a TV network executive, an actress and a gymnastics champion who all answered questions for more than 20 female students.

"Good, old-fashioned hard work, that is the only thing that separates you from the crowd," said actress Rashida Jones, currently starring in the television series "Parks and Recreation."

"Don't feel like you have to be defined by your circumstances," she added.

Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes told the students that they should keep their attitudes positive.

"Whenever I've gone into something with a negative attitude, something negative has come out of it," she said.

The students had several questions for Gen. Dana Born, currently dean of the faculty at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, including what it was like to be one of the few women attending the Air Force Academy when she began several decades ago, and whether or not she had ever felt discrimination for being a woman.

Born told the students that they needed to find their strength and then "practice, practice, practice" to reach success.

Nina Lederman, vice president for program development at Lifetime Networks told the students that she had originally wanted to be an actress, but when it became apparent that she didn't have the acting talent, she shifted to a career in production.

All 20 of the women mentors returned to the White House on Wednesday evening for dinner in the East Room with about 120 area students.

Topics: Michelle Obama • The News

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Jay in NC

    The First Date says "You know, Barack and I were not born with silver spoons in our mouths and connections and money and resources." Thats right you had Uncle Sam, free college education, political appointed 'job' at hospital, and a university that paid for Barry to write his first book. This couple never had to work a day in their lives, everything they have came from the government. Affirmative action, entitlements, tax payer money is what made them successful.

    Notice how angry she looks? That's her you owe me a living look, give me a date night or I will pitch a fit. Sometimes I actually feel sorry for Barry.

    March 31, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  2. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Since you are so knowledgeable of how the OBAMAS' succeeded in life, just off the top of my head and fairly recent, tell us about the SPOONS that the BUSHS', even the KENNEDYS' WERE born with in their mouths. Tell us about the spoon DWIGHT D EISENHOWER was born with, he was so rich and elite so to speak, he made himself a 5 STAR GENERAL, even JOHN McCAIN, his spoon was so filthy rich, ADMIRAL McCAIN bought his way through the NAVY and paid his way through the 'HANOI HOTEL' in Vietnam! Those are just a few!

    March 31, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  3. Jay in NC

    Here is some info Liz, I think the world now knows just how crazy you are.

    Eisenhower –
    Eisenhower's father, David Jacob Eisenhower (1863–1942), born in Pennsylvania of German and Swiss ancestry, was a college-educated engineer but had trouble making a living and the family was poor. Eisenhower served in the military from 1915 to 1948, 33 years. In 1944 he became General of the Army. This was an earned position given by a Democrat President, it is an isult to him and his men to suggest that money played a part. Eisinhower is one of our countries true war heros, and respected Presidents. If it was not for his command and we certainly would have lost WWII.

    McCain –
    He was shot down by a missile over Hanoi. McCain fractured both arms and a leg ejecting from the aircraft, and nearly drowned when he parachuted into Truc Bach Lake. Some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him. McCain was then transported to Hanoi's main Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton".

    Although McCain was badly wounded, his captors refused to treat his injuries, beating and interrogating him to get information. In March 1968, McCain was put into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years.

    In mid-1968, John S. McCain, Jr. was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater, and the North Vietnamese offered McCain early release because they wanted to appear merciful for propaganda purposes, and also to show other POWs that elite prisoners were willing to be treated preferentially. McCain turned down the offer; he would only accept repatriation if every man taken in before him was released as well.

    In August 1968, a program of severe torture began on McCain. He was subjected to rope bindings and repeated beatings every two hours, at the same time as he was suffering from dysentery. McCain subsequently received two to three beatings weekly because of his continued refusal to sign statements.

    Altogether, McCain was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years. He was released on March 14, 1973. His wartime injuries left him permanently incapable of raising his arms above his head.

    March 31, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  4. Liz Carter in Georgia

    The BUFFETTS, the ROCKEFELLERS, the GATES, the ROTHCHILDS, the WALTONS, the ROCKWELLS, the VANDERBILTS, the FORDS, and many other wealthy US families had to start from somewhere. They conglomerated as a group or partnership, everybody having something to contribute to the front money pot or they borrowed from the government. (taxpayers money) They either used taxpayer upfront money or went underground and got it criminally. However they went about getting started, they ultimately ended up in the top 3%.

    March 31, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  5. Jay in NC

    So you are saying that Barry either used taxpayer upfront money or went underground and got it criminally.

    March 31, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  6. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You lie big time when you say 'the couple never had to work a day in their lives'?!? Yet in the same breath you say MICHELLE OBAMA was politically appointed a job at a hospital; working! She also worked as an advocate or laison oftentimes for the poor, illiterate and helpless in the community; she did legal work for community indigent people! She went to school on federal loans just like everybody else who wanted to, needed or was qualified to! As did BARACK OBAMA! They paid them back like everybody else!

    March 31, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Michelle and Barack Obama are both such intelligent, studious people that I'm sure they were in the tops of their classes., ie., exceptional students, honor rolls! They probably recieved a plenty of scholarships and grants just for being studious, wanting to learn and being 'smart'. This has been a 'long time initiative', to promote matriculation into higher education! Any student in AMERICA had those same opportunities! It had nothing to do with affirmative action, if it did, I say SHAME on AMERICA!

    March 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  8. Liz Carter in Georgia

    This competional system that has been set up in this nation always told us that 'education is the key to success'! They got theirs through continuance of the education process, got jobs and started reaping the benefits of their work! Which, from reading many of these comments, is more than I can say for most of the envious, spiteful nuts on this blog! YOUR JEALOUSY IS SHOWING! All AFRICAN AMERICANS didn't choose a career of smoking crack and pimping! That's what you want to think, but I'm sorry! NOT TRUE!

    March 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  9. Liz Carter in Georgia

    The world knows that I'm crazy? My father was in the same war under McARTHUR and PATTON. There were several others I can't call right now, who could and should have recieved such honors, but had it not been for those two, I know we would have certainly lost WW2! Those military bigraphies and battles have been well documented. Watch the history channel sometimes; there you'll find a wealth of information on many issues I, this crazy woman speaks on! It's not all put out on the internet!

    March 31, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  10. Liz Carter in Georgia

    John McCains' father and grandfather were NAVY ADMIRALS. That's exactly the 'connection' one needs to be easily be put in the right places at the right time in the military, as a white man to be labeled a hero. There are many heroes who were unsung! There were even others in the HANOI HILTON that McCAIN himself said that he stayed back to let leave; did you ever wonder why? Who in their right mind would give up chances to leave prison to let others go, unless they were being treated with some respect? Who?

    March 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  11. Liz Carter in Georgia

    When the NV rescued him out of the water, what ever happend to the remnants of the crashed plane? What happened to the other airmen in the plane? It seems he was the only one they fished out! Yes they did start treating his injuries according to the documentary probably because they found out 'WHO' he was! They called him 'THE PRINCE'! He started getting a much fairer treatment than the other prisoners; I guess he could afford to let others leave. He said himself he felt like an embarrassment to his family!

    March 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      McCain flew a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, one seater jet. There is a news real of him being captured by the N. Vietnam solders. It is well documented by the other prisoners that McCain's arms were broken by the guards many many times. That is the reason he can not, to this day, raise his arms above his shoulders. Many Barry supporters made fun of McCain during the election, joking about how stiff he looked. It is also well documented that he lost over 60 pounds during his captivity. This was no joy ride. You are the only person, in over 45 years, that has claimed that he got preferential treatment. I suggest you take the time to look in the National Archives and see the news reel, photos and comments made at the time.

      McCain's father did become Admiral, and that is exactly why they treated him so badly, and why he felt the need to allow other men to go before he did. You are sick to try and spread such bad rumors about an honorable man. I hope that people will take the time to read reputable sources and not rely on Liz.

      March 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  12. Liz Carter in Georgia

    When you're left to tell a story and NO ONE's there to rebut it, no one's there or available to tell the truth, you can tell it however you like! Of course, you can exagerate and embelish it in such a way that it's sure to make you appear to be 'the' hero! Honestly, I have an unexplicable admiration and respect for EVERY veteran who has ever signed up, took the oath to serve and protect, period; however, for the system to push fabrication of a veterans story to show him as more of a hero than MANY others!?

    March 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  13. Liz Carter in Georgia

    This whole discussion began from your first disparaging remark on this blog about the OBAMAS. Here she is talking to children; mentoring to them about the importance of hard work; where it could ultimately land you, telling them that being where she is today is no miracle; that it took hard work and ambition. YOU, Jay turn around and dismiss that, claiming they hadn't worked their way to success! All of it was handed to them from the government like welfare recipients! I RESENT that implication from you!

    March 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  14. Liz Carter in Georgia

    BARACK OBAMA and MICHELLE OBAMA are honorable people who you spread lies and rumors about! He's also the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, the highest office of the land! Most of the garbage you blog about either of them are attempts to spread disdain, hate, and disrespect towards them! About McCAIN, he only came up when I talked about people who DID have connections and wealth which DID afford them the lifes' opportunities that they DO enjoy. HERO and all! Many black vets never would've been so lucky.

    March 31, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  15. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I certainly do hope people aren't taking your uncalled for, insensitive fabrications and crazy crap against the OBAMAS to the bank! Don't rely on Jay, folks! He's nothing but a sorelooser and a hater. He hates anything OBAMA, even when it's good!

    March 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  16. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Oh, incidently I saw the newsreel. That's where I began my questioning. He was no pilot nor navigator. He was a 'bombadeer'! A NAVY BRAT! Had no business even flying a plane! Strange the cameras were all set and ready to catch him being fished out of the river. They must have known 'THE PRINCE' was coming! No other prisoner of war was caught on camera being pulled from wherever they were arrested, and put into prison. You say the enemy broke his arms, no they splinted and casted them up! He was entertained!

    March 31, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  17. Jay in NC

    Liz, you are sick. You say "No other prisoner of war was caught on camera..." Take a look at these videos.

    There are many many news story about our men being captured and tortured. There are still over 2000 MIA from that war. You have lost all credibility with your recent comments. It is disturbing that Barry has people like you supporting him, but I guess not surprising. You all hate America and will do anything to take her down.

    I think I know were your anger comes from. The same as The First Date, you feel guilty that men like McCain actually are heroes. You, as a government employee, just like her, have taken from our country and never given back.

    Well the bottom line is Barry is now killing kids in Africa. Just like you said on Mar 4, 2011 about your husband "He sat in the door and cleared areas of the enemy", Barry is killing anything that moves.

    March 31, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  18. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Yes, I sure am sick of accolades of heroism always being showered on people of a 'certain race', no matter what they did or didn't do! You all made JOHN WAYNE a hero. Even in the thick jungles of AFRICA, where all those AFRICANS lived and thrived, you made TARZAN the hero! You had us brainwashed that the NATIVE AMERICAN was the villain; the COWBOYS of the 'certain race' were the heroes! My husband, a MARINE who followed orders WELL that were set by that same 'certain race', in VIETNAM, is a HERO!

    April 1, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  19. Liz Carter in Georgia

    My father who was injured in WORLD WAR 2, in the PACIFIC THEATER/PHILLIPINES, a 3 BRONZE STAR recipient but no PURPLE HEART, is a HERO. I know many soldiers and marines who should have been recognized as hero but due to racism, they were not. But you people will certainly come up with 'facts' to build a colage framing a slot for heroism for yourselves! And most of the time, you didn't do a thing. Somebody else did it for you. That's in every venure too! Contributions of the black man is always diminished!

    April 1, 2011 at 12:51 am |
  20. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I know there are many veterans black, white, jewish or latino, and other who are sitting back wondering just what did McCAIN do that merited him hero status. They just hate to blow it out there; during the campaign one man that was in the prison with him said some things about the truth about what happened; they shut the man down! Look that up! You don't have to tell me, I know there are many still missing in that war. A country that had not attacked us, OK? Since that seems to be the big thing these days!

    April 1, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  21. Jay in NC

    Your father was a Bronze Star recipient (3 times ?), and yet you say that the black man is always diminished and that they are not recognized as heroes? See even with such a high recognition you dismiss your country. Just jike The First Date you are looking for your next hand out. Never proud of your country.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:14 am |
  22. Jay in NC

    Saying that you are "sick of accolades of heroism always being showered on people of a 'certain race'" is racist. You do not like it simply because they are white. Look it up, you are a racist.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:19 am |
  23. Liz Carter in Georgia

    As far as your remark about my being a government employee, I am now a retired government employee. Taken from our country an never given back'?!? Employee is the operable word; it means I worked for the government. I wasn't on welfare, or recieving handouts! You must be sick! Neither was MICHELLE. I worked and paid into my own pension for 32 years. I paid federal and state taxes, my own health insurance! I'm still paying those same things right now in retirement. I paid my salary and am still paying it!

    April 1, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • Jay in NC

      No, government is the operative word. Never knew a government employee that actually worked. Most of you were warehoused, foot dragger, sleeping on the job, living off the tax payer. While the rest of us were earning money and actually contributing to the economy and paying taxes to give inmates like you money. You then took that money and 'paid' taxes. Yep, take, take, take. give me, give me, give me, just like The First Date.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:40 am |
  24. Jay in NC

    Barry's new slogan, Kill baby kill. How many babies did I kill today.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:42 am |
  25. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I'm disturbed that BARACK OBAMA and his wife have people like you still alive and breathing in this day and time AGAINST them. 'Oh! This is a new day, we don't have those same old problems we used to have; we no longer need AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. Racism is dead'! Yeah right, OK. You are the ones that bear watching! I love AMERICA! Much of my heritage is here. My father and husband fought for her, even though she didn't love them! The only thing about her I'm ready to take down is the spoils of WHITE SUPREMACY!

    April 1, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  26. Jay in NC

    Liz, you just threatened my life, saying that that the president would kill someone that politically opposed them. I knew Barry was racist and a war monger, but a murderer also. And for you to encourage violence because of someones race. I am contacting my state Attorney General, you have gone too far Liz Carter in Georgia!. CNN has your IP address and they will find you, no problem.

    April 1, 2011 at 2:11 am |
  27. Liz Carter in Georgia

    'You all hate AMERICA and will do anything to take her down'. Those are your words to me and 'THE FIRST DATE', I responded back with, 'I love AMERICA! Much of my heritage is here. My father and my husband fought for her, even though she didn't love them. The only thing I'm ready to take down is the spoils of WHITE SUPREMACY! I did NOT say a word about the president or what he'd do! 'Barrys' new slogan, Kill baby Kill! How many babies did I kill toda'. You've been inciting violence, calling OBAMA murderer!

    April 1, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • Jay in NC

      Saying that Barry has killed babies is a fact. You are the one that said "'m disturbed that BARACK OBAMA and his wife have people like you still alive and breathing" I have contacted the Attorney General. Stop harassing me on this blog. Stop calling for my death, and stop calling me a racist. I will not answer you any more.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:53 am |
      • Vale

        Elizabeth Kinnally Iglesias – Jenni and Ulysses you both did an AWESOME job!! We can't thank you enough for catnuripg our day. The entire day we didn't even notice that you were around, it was like you were a part of our family and friends. And there are so many wonderful pictures that it is so hard to decide where to begin creating our album. Your pictures really capture the feelings that we had on our day. We will never forget all that you have done for us. You are guys are the BEST.11.26.08 8:52pm

        August 2, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  28. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Jay, you have, through this same blog since MARCH 19, been inciting violence by continually calling PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA a murderer! Ever since we went to LYBIA to support and protect the people! 'Barry is killing all those AFRICAN children'. If that doesn't get peoples' blood to boiling who don't think through this garbage, I don't know what could. And especially the ones like you who are just on a personal mission to take him down! You screamed IMPEACH HIM! IMPEACH HIM! as soon as you heard KUCINICH!

    April 1, 2011 at 9:22 am |
  29. Liz Carter in Georgia

    This is my gripe and has been for a long time; you and I both know that if that Hillary Clinton or John McCain in that WHITEHOUSE, and they went about the LIBYAN CRISIS the exact same way, they'd have been applauded! There wouldn't be any of this hoopla coming from you, CONGRESS or anyone else. OMG! There jobs certainly wouldn't have been threatened! The idea never would have been exposed, even if it was an 'impeachable' offense! It seems like you all are the ones that will do anything to take AMERICA down!

    April 1, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  30. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You never knew a federal employee who worked!? Well you must not know too many! Down in Georgia we worked and were told by our chiefs and managers that we were great workers often, and to keep up the good work. When DC came to look at our work and to review our job descriptions we were up to snuff! So I guess you must be talking about your slouchers NC. Oh, are you talking about your congressmen and representatives? They are federal workers too you know. You hate your government; you hate AMERICA!

    April 1, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Jay in NC

      "our chiefs and managers" so more government inmates gave another government slacker a compliment. You never would have lasted in the real world. Those who can work those who can not get gov. jobs.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  31. Liz Carter in Georgia

    My father was must have been handed his medals in secret the back of the barracks or tents they were sleeping in, in front of 1 or 2 of his army buddies. His Commanding Officer had to leave the white sleeping quarter and go over to the 'negro' sleeping quarters to slip them to him. Nobody knew. We didn't even know about them until he died in 2005, when we found his DD214 to alert the VA of his death. He never talked much about the war and what they went through. Proud of this country? Prouder of my father!

    April 1, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Jay in NC

      " must have been handed" so you do not know, you are just making up the hate. If there is no record maybe he stole the items. A quick search on the gov. website, I can not find anyone that was given 3 Bronze Stars.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  32. Liz Carter in Georgia

    For point clarification only; There's no question asked, therefore no answer is expected. I regret most relationships end this way; with no treaty ever signed, but yours: 'It is disturbing that 'Barry' has people like you supporting him, but I guess not surprising, You all hate America and will do anything to take her down'. Mine: 'I'm disturbed that BARACK OBAMA and his wife have people like you still alive and breathing, in this day and time AGAINST them'. May peace be with you, Goodbye.

    April 2, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  33. Rodrigo

    Hi Christian 10 yrs that's great. I can't believe how much ieesrntt Song of the South has had over the past 13 years with my website (Launched April 21, 1997) and 10 yrs with yours. I remember the days when I updated the petition names manually before the current automated petition site. I would receive five to twenty emails or more daily requesting their name to be added. Thanks for keeping your site going as I've seen many diappear through time and we all remember the release rumors from VHS to DVD and now Blu Ray year after year. Although we're still here with our fan base and our websites live on I wish Song of the South could of been released with our biggest supporter Roy E Disney. Happy 64th to Song of the South and 10 years to James

    July 31, 2012 at 2:50 am |