Teary Michelle Obama signs off with message of hope to young people

Michelle Obama has used her final speech as First Lady to deliver an upbeat message to young people - telling them “this country belongs to you”. She said: “I can think of no better message to send to young people in my last official remarks as First Lady - for all the young people in this room and those who are watching - know that this country belongs to you, to all of you.” She was speaking at the School Counsellor of the Year awards at the White House, an annual event she launched in 2015.

I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong.

Michelle Obama

The First Lady also praised American diversity as not a threat to who we are but as what makes us who we are. She continued: “You have a right to be exactly who you are but you cannot take your freedoms for granted.”