Today the First Lady completed her first solo international official visit, which marked the kick-off of her international platform of youth engagement. Over the past three days, the First Lady has reaffirmed America’s close relationship with Mexico and the enduring bonds between the American and Mexican people.
We’re going to be looking to your generation to seize the promise of clean energy to power our economies and preserve our planet for your children and your grandchildren. We’re going to be looking to your generation to find the courage and the patience to resolve the conflicts and to heal the divides that plague our world.And I’m here today because I believe that all of you, and your peers around the world, are more ready than ever to meet these challenges.More than any generation in history, you all are able to access information and connect with one another in ways that my generation could never have imagined. With the click of a button, you can exchange thoughts on any issue with people just about anywhere in the world. You have an unprecedented ability to organize and to mobilize to challenge old assumptions, and to bridge old divides, and to find new solutions to our toughest problems.And it is because of this immense promise that I intend to focus my international work as First Lady on engaging young people just like you all around the world. My husband and I know all too well that meeting the challenges that we will face will depend on whether we effectively tap into your God-given potential –- whether we fully benefit from the industry and the energy and the perspectives of young people from every background and every nation. Because we know that ambition and ability are found in every corner of the globe.
I want to read you an e-mail that she sent me. This e-mail inspired my trip there. It’s inspired my trip here. She wrote: “We are exhausted, traumatized and heart-broken. But we choose to stay here and work. We choose to stay because we love Haiti and its people. We choose to stay because we believe in our duty to help the people here in their greatest hour of need. We choose to stay because we believe in our mission. We choose to stay because we still hold out hope… for recovery and renewal… and for a Haiti built back better than before.”And I hope that every single one of you, and young people across the globe, will take up that work –- the work of helping others in need, the work of building stronger nations and a better world, because if we’re going to tackle the challenges of our time -– if we’re going to make our world safer and healthier and more prosperous and more free -– we are going to need the passion and the daring and the creativity of every last one of you.We’ll need you to work as hard as you can, and do as much as you can, driven by the belief that has always summed up the spirit of our youth-- three simple words: Si, se puede –- Yes, we can. Yes, we can.
Trooper Sanders is Deputy Director of Policy to the First Lady