First lady to MLK grads: 'Find your passion'

Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 4:54pm
051813 Michelle Obama MLK speech topper.jpg
Michelle Obama addressed the MLK 2013 graduating class along with 3,600 attendees in a ceremony held at TSU on Saturday. (Andrea Zelinski/SouthComm)


Clad in a black robe with pink lining inside the heavy hood, first lady Michelle Obama stood before 170 Nashville high school graduates and told them to follow their own dreams.

Her address to the 2013 graduating class of Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet School is the only high school speech she is giving this year, she told the 3,600 attendees at the ceremony held at Tennessee State University.

"Do not waste a minute living someone else's dream," she said in the 22-minute speech, adding schools like MLK don’t exist for every kid.  

The first lady recounted her own struggles in school, particularly learning to create her own community of support once in college. She also urged students to adjust when facing failure, pointing to success stories like those of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and her husband, President Barack Obama.

“I could take up a whole afternoon myself talking about his failures,” she quipped.

She closed her speech telling the students to follow their own passions, adding her own desire to dedicate herself to public service came long after she had finished school and landed a high-profile job.

"You can only find your passion by looking inside yourself, and that's hard work,” she said.  

Follow this link for the play-by-play of the graduation and her speech.


3 Comments on this post:

By: Trumpet on 5/18/13 at 8:05

Joe/The Collection:

Missed it. But I'm curious...Was TB there ?

One Heart!

By: Rasputin72 on 5/19/13 at 10:47

I am glad she was not addressing the graduating classes at Hunters Lane, Maplewood,Stratford , Antioch, Glencliff or the Creek.

They might take her literally and really pursue their passions!!!!

By: pswindle on 5/19/13 at 7:56

Thanks Mrs.Obama for coming to Nashville to inspire the class of 2013.