2015 MORE Impact Awards Luncheon

Source: Larry French / Getty

Students invited to the White House Wednesday learned a valuable lesson from the First Lady Michelle Obama as she explained to them that failure and rejection are part of the steps toward achieving success.  Mrs. Obama said “Failure is a part of that whole process. You just learn to pick yourself up. And the quicker and more resilient you become, the better you are.”

Mrs. Obama welcomed the local students as part of a music workshop with Smokey Robinson, Esperanza Spalding, MC Lyte, Trombone Shorty and Keb’ Mo’.  The workshop titled “A Celebration of Song” taught the students from middle schools in Manassas, Virginia; Herndon, Virginia; and Landover, Maryland, how to rhyme, produce and write songs.

At the conclusion of the lesson they split into five groups to craft and perform original work with their celebrity mentors. The group was also treated to an impromptu performance by Spalding, Trombone Shorty and Keb’ Mo’.

Before the breakout session, Mrs. Obama encouraged the students to work hard and practice their craft whether it’s writing or mathematics.  She said “It’s really important that you all experience this stuff here in this house. You all are just as important as those dignitaries that we invite here. Sometimes it takes sitting in this room to make you start dreaming about all that you can be.”

The entertainers will perform during an evening concert as part of the “In Performance at the White House” series. It will also include performances by Usher, James Taylor, Queen Latifah, Buddy Guy, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and remarks from Carol Burnett.

The program is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act and the concert will broadcast on PBS stations in January.


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