As the US switches President, I can’t help but admire the outright winner through the 2016 election race: Michelle Obama.
Although she wasn’t running for President, the popularity polls put her ahead of all the candidates (and Barack Obama). The WSJ/NBC poll that took place before the election had her popularity at 59%, ahead of Barack Obama (51%), Hillary Clinton (40%) and Donald Trump (29%).
Here’s 11 things Michelle quietly achieved while her husband was running the country:
1) She launched the “Let’s Move!” movement to fight childhood obesity, with over 12 million kids now exercising 60 minutes a day through their school programs.
2) She partnered with the U.S. Olympic Committee to give free or low cost athletic training to more than 3 million kids.
3) She passed the “School Lunch Program” which now provides free and low cost healthy meals to 21 million children in low-income families and provides healthier school meals and snacks to over 50 million kids every day.
4) She launched “Chefs Move to School”, with 2,500 chefs and 4,000 schools signing up to teach kids about healthy eating and help school kitchens prepare healthy meals
5) She launched MyPlat and MiPlato badges to help parents identify healthy food – now used by over 100 national organizations and 6,100 community groups.
6) She got Walmart and Walgreens, to commit to build 1,500 stores in communities with limited or no access to healthy food, impacting 9.5 million people.
7) She created “Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties” to help local officials build healthier communities, with over 81 million people (1 in 4 Americans) benefiting.
8) She worked with the US Tennis Association to build more than 6,200 kid-sized tennis courts, trained 12,000 coaches and signed up 250,000 kids to complete tennis lessons.
9) She launched the Reach Higher Initiative, to inspire young people to complete their education past hight school.
10) She joined President Obama and the Peach Corps to launch Let Girls Learn, to help girls around the world to go to school and stay in school, now active in 44 countries
11) She also set a Guinness World Record on the White House Lawn for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period (300,000 jumpers)
She didn’t have to do any of this. But she did all of it because she was driven by her own personal mission, saying: “I believe that education is the single-most important civil rights issue that we face today.”
“Because in the end, if we really want to solve issues like mass incarceration, poverty, racial profiling, voting rights, and the kinds of challenges that shocked so many of us over the past year, then we simply cannot afford to lose out on the potential of even one young person. We cannot allow even one more young person to fall through the cracks.”
What an inspiration.