The first lady entered the White House with no public agenda and with promises to focus on her children, but a year in, she has already made an impact. Her latest project is a mentoring program meant to inspire local girls by giving them access to some of the White House’s powerful women.

The Washington Post reports that unlike Michelle’s vegetable garden (inspired by food activist and hero Alice Waters) and her other important projects, this one is deeply personal:

Obama said she became interested in the power of mentoring as a corporate lawyer in Chicago. Her office, she said, was on the 47th floor of a downtown building and her windows faced south towards her old neighborhood. Kids who were just as smart and capable as she was missed out on opportunities and successes “by a hair,” she said.

And then she got a bit verklempt. “We’ve got the most powerful seat in the land to be a bridge-builder,” she told the girls, her eyes tearing and voice cracking. “And I’m so excited and touched and moved to have you all here…. I can get emotional.” [Link]

Gallup

puts Michelle Obama’s favorable rating at 61 percent — higher than her husband’s.

The White House is also planning a mentor program for boys. — PZS

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