Culture / Newsy

Michelle Obama Pulls Off the Sweetest Surprise Ever in Dallas, Moves Teens to Tears

This is What Happens When the First Lady Drops In

BY // 12.19.18

One hundred and fifty female high school students in Dallas received the surprise of a lifetime and a healthy dose of hands-on learning —courtesy of one Michelle Obama.

A small group of students at the first annual Young Women’s Leadership Conference: Leadership Lessons Learned through the Arts at the Winspear Opera House had been studying the former first lady’s memoir Becoming as part of a workshop. But they had no idea that an appearance — and hugs — from Michelle Obama herself were on the agenda.

Some of these teens broke into tears at the appearance of the former first lady.

Talk about a surprise speaker.

An event organizer told the crowd “Here we go, our special guest,” before Obama stepped out from behind a curtain. Many of the students, from nine North Texas high schools and organizations, were moved to tears. Almost all gasped, covering their mouths in shock. The student closest to Obama got up immediately and went in for a hug, which the former first lady gladly accepted, all smiles.

She then addressed the group of more than 100 students.

“These young women had been studying Mrs. Obama’s book in advance of the conference but did not know she would show up here in person, so you can imagine the excitement,” Debbie Storey, interim president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, which produced the conference, said.

Obama came to the opera house as a positivity-centered pit stop before her sold-out book tour stopped at American Airlines Center this week. (Michelle Obama’s book tour hits Houston’s Toyota Center on March 2; she visits Austin’s Frank Erwin Center on February 28.)

The New York Times bestselling author sat with the students on the couch to discuss leadership, believing in yourself and embracing positivity.

“It’s a choice in the moment. Do you listen to the negative, or do you remember the positives? All the good things people have said about you?” Michelle Obama asked the crowd of eager students.

“There will always be someone who wants to punch you in the stomach because you’re moving a little too high. You’re saying things they don’t agree with. You have to practice vigorously to tune out the negative and eat up the positive.”

One big push for Michelle Obama? Unity, and coming together even when the entire country seem so divided.

“That is one of the reasons why I think my relationship with George Bush resonates with so many people because I think Americans want to get beyond party, race and understand that there is so much more that brings us together,” she said.

Watch WFAA’s exclusive video of  Obama’s surprise visit below:


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