It was a cloudy Sunday afternoon in Reno, Nevada when I received a call from a number I had never seen before. Deciding to answer, thankfully, to my surprise was a member of the Obama for America campaign. Thinking it was another political strategy call, she informed me that First Lady Michelle Obama was coming to the University of Nevada, Reno campus and I was chosen to represent the undergraduate students and meet her before she began her speech! After a few seconds of speechlessness, I humbly accepted the opportunity.
Soon, it was Wednesday, October 3, 2012 and I was waiting back stage for First Lady Michelle Obama. Anxious with butterflies, I watched as her elegancy walked up the stairs towards me. As she came closer to me, it was if I were in a cinematic movie and time had slowed down around me. Before I knew it, I was staring the First Lady of the United States in the eye, admiring her presence.
Hoping not to muddle my words, I began to explain my position within the University of Nevada, Reno and how I will be graduating next May. The warmth and sincere interest she portrayed was an image I will never forget. Before I could finish my admiration of her and how we, the undergraduate students of Nevada, were so thankful for her coming, she stopped me mid-sentence. She took my hand and placed it in hers and said, “RJ, I am so proud of you. Barack is so proud of you. We are fighting for you and you are the future of this nation.” As if meeting Michelle Obama was not enough, to hear those words from her was an indescribable feeling.
Before she left for her speech, her final words to me were, “RJ, don’t let me down.” I will herald those words and will forever remember the message she imprinted in my heart.