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It’s graduation season and Michelle Obama has been making her rounds giving inspiration speeches across the country. On Tuesday, the Flotus spoke at King College Prep High School in Chicago’s South Side.

“I know the struggles many of you face, how you walk the long way home to avoid the gangs; how you fight to concentrate on your schoolwork when there’s too much noise at home; how you keep it together when your family’s having a hard time making ends meet. But more importantly, I know the strength of this community.”

She also honored Hadiya Pendleton, a student of King College Prep who was shot dead two years ago at the age of 15.

“I know that many of you have already dealt with some serious losses in your lives,” Obama told the students. “Maybe you’ve lost someone you love, someone you desperately wish could be here with you tonight. And I know that many of you are thinking about Hadiya right now and feeling the hole that she’s left in your hearts.”

“I want you to understand that every scar that you have is a reminder not just that you got hurt, but that you survived,” Obama said, adding: “If Hadiya’s friends and family could survive their heartbreak and pain, if they could found organizations to honor her unfulfilled dreams, if they could inspire folks across this country to wear orange to protest gun violence, then I know you all can live your life with the same determination and joy that Hadiya lived her life. I know you all can dig deep and keep on fighting to fulfill your own dreams.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, all of King College Prep’s 177 graduates have been accepted to college.

“You embody all of the courage and love, all of the hunger and hope that have always defined these communities — our communities,” Obama said in the conclusion of her speech. “And I am so proud of you all, and I stay inspired because of you, and I can’t wait to see everything you all achieve in the years ahead.”

Photo Credit: AP

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