By Katie Reilly
January 6, 2017

Michelle Obama gave her final remarks as First Lady on Friday, choking up as she urged young Americans to remain hopeful and engaged in the country’s future.

“I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong, so don’t be afraid. You hear me? Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused, be determined, be hopeful, be empowered,” Obama said at the White House, speaking at an event honoring the 2017 School Counselor of the Year. “Lead by example with hope, never fear, and know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.”

She called serving as First Lady “the greatest honor of my life.”

Here are her full remarks:

Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com.

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