The packed auditorium of about 500 people gave the First Lady, Melania Trump a standing ovation.
FLOTUS arrived at National Harbor at 10:43 a.m.
FLOTUS, wearing light-colored pants with a black long-sleeved jacket, entered the room for the event at 10:54 a.m.
The packed auditorium of about 500 people gave her a standing ovation. The audience is three-quarters teenagers.
FLOTUS’ Be Best logo was shown on a large screen in the left front corner of the room.
Her remarks as prepared for delivery
Thank you, Director Carroll and General Dean. Good morning, everyone! It is great to be here and to take part in this important youth leadership conference.
I want to start by saying thank you to each of you for actively deciding to get involved and choosing to step up and be part of the solution. As you know, our nation is facing an opioid crisis. Part of my Be Best campaign focuses on understanding the harmful effects of opioid abuse on our children and finding opportunities to help families and young mothers who have been affected by this very real problem.
In my time as First Lady, I have held babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome – a result of opioid addiction in pregnant mothers. I have met with mothers like Betty Henderson, who lost their children to drug abuse. And on Tuesday night, I was honored to have Ashley Evans join me at the State of the Union Address. Ashley suffered from opioid and substance abuse for most of her life but found help through Brigid’s Path, a medical care facility in Ohio. This year, she is celebrating one year and one month in recovery, and next week, she will be reunited with her daughter.
Recovery is possible. It is because of programs and organizations like Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America or Brigid’s Path that offer care, resources, and essential tools that can save lives and teach positive and life-saving ideas to those in need. These programs are so vital to our nation and within our communities.
Later today, I am visiting the Office of National Drug Control Policy to hear about the latest efforts in building a stronger and healthier society for our children. The Office of National Drug Control Policy currently supports over 700 community coalitions through its Drug-Free Communities Support Program and I am so excited to learn more about what they are doing to keep our children and communities safe.
I want to thank all the government leaders, volunteer trainers, and experts in the field who are taking time to talk with our youth this week, and hope this time has provided you with great knowledge and motivation that you can take with you when you leave. What you are learning in these workshops are vital tools that will help make a difference in our nation and our world. You are our greatest agents for change. Through your voices, you have the power to influence, transform, and lead your communities from within. You can lead by example every day among your peers, your friends, your classmates, and your teammates.
I am honored to present awards today to some people who have done just that. Their dedication to educating others on the importance of preventing substance use is inspiring and I applaud their commitment to nurturing and cultivating youth wherever they go. They are a testament to the power of one’s voice. Thank you to each of you for your devotion to this cause, I know you have touched many lives through your work.
Thank you again for having me here and may God Bless the United States of America.