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Melania Trump says she's 'so proud' in video message to students

The first lady lauded the strength of students in a video speech, saying she is proud of the examples they have become.
/ Source: TODAY

First lady Melania Trump praised the strength of students as the country continues grappling with the coronavirus pandemic in a video message Thursday night.

Trump shared a prerecorded message at the end of a CNN town hall in which she thanked them for their perseverance during a difficult time.

"Over the past two months, I know you have had to make many changes in your life,'' she said. "Many of you had to attend classes in your homes and haven't been able to see your friends. Many of you were looking forward to your prom, spring sports and graduation. These changes were not easy, but you have been so strong, and I am proud of the examples you have become.

"Your determination to get through this will define your generation for years to come. So thank you, for helping your families, your friends, your communities and our country to stay healthy and safe during these unusual times. Thank you for keeping up your studies and learning in new ways."

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She then urged them to stay active as they prepare themselves for the next chapter of their lives.

"As we navigate the days and weeks ahead, take care of yourself,'' she said. "Use this time to read the book you've been meaning to read. Practice your favorite sport, or learn a new one, and help out at home.

"Be sure to stay in touch with friends and family and make sure you're being your best self. These are important and healthy habits that we can all easily practice, and they are a reminder that we will only get through this with patience, compassion and care."

Trump isn't the only first lady saluting students and graduates, as Michelle Obama is making sure a special group of seniors will have a prom this year. The former first lady is a co-chair of the nonprofit group When We All Vote, which has teamed up with MTV for a 2020 Prom Challenge event that will reward the 20 high schools that launched the most impactful voter registration programs with funding for their prom.

Obama and Jenna Bush Hager surprised some of the winning students on TODAY last week.

Her husband, former President Barack Obama, also acknowledged the graduates with a nationally televised commencement speech last weekend.

Trump and the Obamas are the latest to pay tribute to students, joining other luminaries like Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, LeBron James, Oprah Winfrey, and, of course, the TODAY family, in wishing them the best.

People and businesses in towns across America have also been pitching in to help ease the sting for graduates who have had so many important milestones fall by the wayside because of the pandemic.

Whether it's a photographer shooting powerful portraits of graduating high school seniors, people sending quarantine graduation gifts, or companies like Krispy Kreme and Chipotle giving out freebies to graduates, everyone is doing their best to honor a unique set of students.