Taking Initiatives

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First Lady Michelle Vaughn Robinson Obama, the wife of the 44th President Barack Obama, was a lawyer and community-outreach worker. She is a graduate from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. As the First Lady, Michelle Obama has been very vocal about social issues such as gender inequality, supporting military families, healthy living, education, and poverty. She has also committed herself to work with families dealing with issues regarding balancing their work and family. She has visited thousands of schools, numerous soup kitchens and shelters, and has stressed the importance of education and volunteer work. Part of her top priority has been to end child obesity and incorporating fitness into the life of kids. She has been very successful and has created programs that help attain her goal. A few of the projects are called, “Let’s Move!”,“The Reach Higher”, and “Let Girls Learn.”


In 2009, The First Lady, Michelle Obama, initiated a project named “Let’s Move!”. The initiative behind this project was to reduce the increasing problem of child obesity in the United States, allowing the new generation to grow up happier and healthier. Project “Let’s Move!” is “giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices; providing healthier foods in our schools; ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food; and, helping children become more physically active.”[1] Overall, this mission assists the youth of this nation to flourish and become successful.


There are five key components that support the “Let’s Move” initiative: increasing physical activity, improving access to healthy and affordable food, providing healthy food in schools, empowering parents and caregivers, and creating a healthy start for children. This initiative is an issue that is relevant to everyone whether they are caregivers or elected officials in government for a multitude of reasons For one, Nearly one out of every three children in the United States is overweight.Additionally, childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years, and it is likely that r future generations will therefore face an increased risk of suffering from diabetes, chronic heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and many other health-related complications. Because of these issues, it should be everyone’s personal obligation to influence today’s youth and be educators and role models to help terminate childhood obesity. This movement has created a massive impact on our country and will only continue to flourish with the help of project “Let’s Move!”.


Another initiative that was introduced was “The Reach Higher” program. This program was the First Lady’s effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.”[2] In today’s current day and age it is difficult to get the job of your dreams without pursuing a higher degree of education. Especially given the economic health of our nation, having a simple high school diploma is just not enough to get a well to do job in our country. The current “North Star” goal, which is part of the initiative, is that by the year 2020, the United States will have the most amount of college graduates on the globe.


Along with having a program focused on academic growth within our country, there is also a global outreach initiative for girls everywhere. There are approximately 62 million intelligent young girls all over the world today who are not privileged enough to attend school. They are unable to maximize their potential and flourish in their communities through academic excellence. Many nations around the world do not allow their young girls to receive the same education as the boys do. As a result, many girls in such countries tend to marry young, receive low salaries if they are working, and spend their time looking after their families. In order to combat these issues,The First Lady began a program by the name of “Let Girls Learn”. This program was launched on March 3rd, 2015 with the idea that it “isn’t just about investing more money in girls’ education but also about changing how women and girls are viewed and valued around the world.”[3] The organization has managed to provide girls in Jordan with 25 public schools and the Peace Corps was able to spread this program to 35 countries. Overall, This new foundation will help empower girls across the globe and become strong individuals.


“Let’s Move!”, “Let Girls Learn”, and “Reach Higher”, are only few initiatives that are out there to better our own communities. These organizations go beyond just our own nation, and they help us better understand the growing needs of the world we live in.. It is important that we only help these initiatives flourish so that everyone can live their life to their fullest potential.


[1] http://www.letsmove.gov/learn-facts/epidemic-childhood-obesity

[2] https://www.whitehouse.gov/reach-higher

[3] https://letgirlslearn.gov/our-progress/


For more information on project Let’s Move:



For more information on project Let Girls Learn:



For more information on project Reach Higher:



For more information on project Joining Forces:



About the author

Sanjna Patel is 16 year old boarding student at St. Mark’s School, and a part of the graduating class of 2019. She is originally from Danvers, Massachusetts where she lives with her family. She aspires to attain a dual degree in both Business and Law, and possibly minor in Political Science. She truly enjoys travelling the world and being able to have different cultural experiences. Sanjna currently writes for the St.Marker, is a global ambassador, part of the Model U.N. and a peer tutor. She enjoys playing lacrosse, skiing and being able to spend time with family and friends. She is excited for a great year with numerous experiences and opportunities!

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