First lady Melania Trump promoted her “Be Best” anti-cyber bullying program and the Trump administration’s battle against the opioid crisis as she accepted an award Wednesday from a local university.
In a nearly nine-minute speech that was met with standing ovations, the first lady explained to the nearly 550 attendees of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s “Women of Distinction” luncheon that her efforts have been “shining a light on programs across the country and overseas that help our youth understand what it means to ‘Be Best.’”
She continued, “Be Best can mean performing a simple act of kindness, providing care for someone in need, or teaching a life-enriching lesson,” and “it is my hope that by promoting Be Best values, we will give a voice to the concerns and struggles of our children, and help them overcome the challenges they face.”
Mrs. Trump added that the U.S. last year saw its first drop in opioid deaths in three decades, crediting the president’s programs for that accomplishment.
“Opioids have affected the lives of more than two-million children in the United States,” she stated. “I’ve seen firsthand how opioid abuse affects families who struggling with addiction. I have traveled to children’s hospitals and treatment facilities who support those affected by opioids.”
Palm Beach Atlantic President William Fleming said the school decided to honor Trump for her compassion and kindness.
The university typically selects two women who have ties to the area and who have helped local charities for the “Women of Distinction” award.
According to Fleming, PBA’s nominating committee decided to make the first lady the sole recipient of this year’s award.
He added, “America’s first lady has sounded the call for action. She serves as a role model with brilliance, elegance and grace.”
The first fady thanked the school for the award, and also recognized her mother and father, who were in attendance.
PBA’s annual “Women of Distinction” honors those “who cherish community and family and want to preserve these ideals for others.” Previous winners in the luncheon’s 29-year history have included Barbara Nicklaus, the wife of golf great Jack Nicklaus; Candy Carson, the wife of Housing Secretary Ben Carson; fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer; and Helen DeVos, whose husband Rich co-founded Amway.