Michelle Obama gave the graduation speech to King College Prep High School seniors on Tuesday night and found a way to delight them amid somber tones of mourning for a classmate who had been shot, The New York Times reported.
The Chicago high school was hit with tragedy two years ago when 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in a neighbourhood park. The class mourned her absence, and an empty chair draped in her favourite colour, purple, was left open for her.
The deceased teenager had performed at Obama’s inauguration festivities.
The First Lady challenged the graduating seniors to rise above the hardship they have faced at a young age, and to bring positivity and success to themselves, their communities and the world.
And in a surprise twist, she brought a video of the cast members of the ABC show “Scandal” congratulating the class on their accomplishments.
The video was a hat tip to the King College seniors, who secured Michelle Obama as their graduation speaker after they won a student video contest that parodied “Scandal” and promoted student applications for college financial aid.
Watch the video below to see the entireity of the First Lady’s graduation speech:
In another graduation that made headlines this year, the First Lady advised graduates of the liberal Ohio college Oberlin not to surround themselves with like-minded people.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.