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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the First Lady at the Conclusion of Fashion Education Workshop

East Room

2:15 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you all so much.  Let’s give our panelists another round of applause.  Lilliana, thank you.  You did a great job.  (Applause.)  Well, I don’t know about you but that was pretty fascinating.  I mean, I am not interested in developing a career in fashion and I found it riveting, so I hope you all did, too. 

Now, let me just say one thing:  If I were you, you all -- students sitting in here -- I would be either writing somebody in this room, I’d be getting a card.  I would get my personal notes together right now, because my letter would be addressed to whoever -- I was one of the students that was at the White House panel, I attended this workshop, we sat in the lunch, I mentioned something that they heard or a quote.  And I’d say I was -- you know, now is the time to get -- this is an opportunity.  This is a door. 

And so all of you, you’re competing with each other.  And now you’ve got to think about, how are you going to use this opportunity?  Just don’t sit here and eat the lunch and take a nap and go to the next workshop, but figure out how you’re going to turn this into the next thing that you want to do. 

You guys have the easiest step into a lot of these internships.  Because my guess is that they’re going to remember you, right?

PANELIST:  And don’t be shy.

MRS. OBAMA:  And don’t be shy.  Networking is the key.  The people who are successful are the people who are willing to reach out and say, hi, my name is X, you met me here, let me tell you something about myself.  Look a person in the eye, speak clearly.  That’s what’s going to get you to the next step.

So the question -- now you’re next challenge is, what are you going to do after today?  What are you going to do with this opportunity?  And if you’re not going to do anything with it, then give it to somebody else.  Give it to somebody else -- somebody in your class, somebody in your school, a sister, but don’t waste it.  This is really special, so make the most of it.  It won’t be the last door that you have access to, but this door is real different. 

And you have to think, when is the next time I’m going to be invited to the White House?  Because I think about that all the time.  (Laughter.)  I tell my kids, take a look around now, because you may never get invited back here again.  (Laughter and applause.)

But I want to thank everyone here for making this dream -- this was really a dream of mine in so many ways, to have this industry and all those who have supported me, who do so much for people to make us feel beautiful and ready to get out there.  Let me tell you, fashion plays an important role in my confidence.  My ability to do my job is really linked to how I feel about what I’m wearing. 

So this is some big stuff.  So I’m grateful to all of you for everything you’ve done for me, everything you’ve been willing to do for these young people.  And let’s keep thinking about what more we can do.  That’s always -- what’s the next step. 

So I am grateful to you all.  I hope you guys have enjoyed the day. 

2:20 P.M. EDT