Where Will You Serve?

Posted by Amanda M. Fairbanks

1264020555-flotus_garden2_blogOn mornings such as these, the Obamas must have simply wanted to pull the covers over their heads and call it a day.Massachusetts politics be damned. On Wednesday afternoon, donning a purple overcoat, Michelle Obama addressed the U.S. Conference of Mayors to launch an initiative that will mobilize federal and local resources in the fight against childhood obesity.Citing recent figures, that one in three children are overweight or obese, that in Latino and black communities those numbers swell to nearly one in two, she urged mayors to add obesity to their growing list of concerns.While she conceded that her current White House support staff affords certain luxuries previously unknown to the former full-time working mother, when dinner all too frequently consisted of pizza and burgers, echoes of the struggle over health care reform could also be heard.

"This isn't something that will be fixed by just a bill in Congress or an executive order from the president. And I know that the last thing you all need right now is a bunch of commands from Washington or a ton of red tape that makes it hard for you to get anything done at all."

In the last year, in addition to her work on obesity, she started a mentoring program for young women, where 16 girls from Washington schools were paired with women working in the Obama administration.

Later in the day, from the East Room of the White House, President Obama announced that the program would be expanded to include 20 boys that would similarly be paired with members of his staff.
"Now, I understand times are tough, and I know people are busy. And so sometimes people think, well, I'd like to do it but I'm not sure I can make the commitment. Here's the thing people need to understand: It doesn't take much to make a big difference. A couple of hours a week shooting hoops, helping with homework, talking about what's going on in their lives can make a big, lasting impact in the life of a young person."

The federal government is launching the serve.gov/mentor site to assist people in finding local mentoring opportunities. 

On the anniversary of his inauguration, the criticism is being made that he has taken on too much-his agenda too broad, his reforms too ambitious.

Maybe a better question to ask is where will you serve?

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