(Source: White House)
First Lady of the United States Melania Trump is the wife of President Donald J. Trump and the mother of Barron Trump. She is the second First Lady born outside of the United States, and she is the only First Lady to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. And like the First Ladies before her, Melania Trump will make her mark on history.
Melania Trump was born on April 26, 1970 in Slovenia. At age 16, she began what would soon become a highly successful modeling career, appearing in many high profile ad campaigns and working with some of the best photographers in the fashion industry.
In 1996, Mrs. Trump moved to New York and ten years later, she proudly became a United States Citizen. Mrs. Trump has always been an active member of her community. In 2005, she was Honorary Chairwoman for the Martha Graham Dance Company. That same year, she was awarded Goodwill Ambassador by the American Red Cross—a role she served in for four years. Mrs. Trump served five years as Honorary Chairwoman for the Boys’ Club of New York and was named Woman of the Year in 2006 by the Police Athletic League. Mrs. Trump has participated in National Love Our Children Day and National Child Abuse Prevention month, ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ.
In 2010, Mrs. Trump was the Chairwoman for the American Heart Association, which raised $1.7 million for research. That same year she launched her own jewelry collection.
While Melania Trump became a household name in modeling and a contributing member of her community, she is first and foremost a mother and wife, and in 2017, Melania Trump made the White House and Washington home for her family.
In her role as First Lady, Mrs. Trump focuses her time on the many issues affecting children. An unwavering characteristic of the First Lady is her aptitude for showing love and compassion in all that she does. Mrs. Trump spends much of her time meeting with children who are patients at hospitals and care centers. Recently, she took valentines to the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Over the Easter holiday, she made a surprise visit to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Palm Beach, Florida, bringing Easter baskets to the children. Following the devastating hurricanes last year, Mrs. Trump visited Texas to meet with families that suffered greatly under Hurricane Harvey. In the wake of two horrendous mass shootings, Mrs. Trump traveled with her husband to Las Vegas and Parkland to be with the victims and families in their times of need. Internationally, Mrs. Trump has visited several hospitals and schools. One of her most memorable visits being at the Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesu in the Vatican City, where she met a boy who had been waiting for a new heart. Upon arrival in Belgium the following day, Mrs. Trump learned that the hospital had found a transplant for the boy–Mrs. Trump celebrated the news in a press statement and said “my own heart is filled with joy over the news.”
As First Lady, Mrs. Trump has made multiple visits to schools—both foreign and domestic. From participating in a Viking huddle class, which focuses on emotional learning at Orchard Lake Middle School in Michigan, to taking the Queen of Jordan to Washington, D.C.’s first public charter school for girls at Excel Academy in Southeast, Mrs. Trump is always bringing children to the forefront of her agenda. While traveling abroad, Mrs. Trump visited the American International School in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with Education Minister Ahmed Al Eissa, and took a calligraphy lesson with local children at Kyobashi Tsukiji Elementary School with Mrs. Abe while visiting Japan. Earlier this spring, Mrs. Trump invited a group of local students to the White House so she could talk with them, hear their stories, and understand the issues they are challenged with today. Mrs. Trump addresses those issues each opportunity she gets. From Governors’ spouses’ luncheons to the United Nations General Assembly, Mrs. Trump puts the emphasis on children and how we can protect them, teach them, and empower them.
In the midst of the opioid epidemic, Mrs. Trump has utilized her platform as First Lady to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid abuse—notably the devastating effects it has on infants and unborn babies. Mrs. Trump traveled to Huntington, West Virginia, where she visited Lily’s Place, the Nation’s first nonprofit infant recovery center that prioritizes the whole family to ensure infants born dependent on drugs are given the best opportunity to thrive. More recently, in February, Mrs. Trump traveled to Ohio to visit Cincinnati Children’s, a leading pediatric hospital where she learned more about the ongoing research around neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)—a harmful result of drug abuse in pregnant mothers. Mrs. Trump has participated in multiple opioid summits and continues to work with the Administration on raising the awareness of opioid abuse and how we can better protect children from it.
On May 7, Mrs. Trump launched BE BEST—an awareness campaign focused entirely around the well-being of children. The campaign has three pillars, which represent key areas of concern for Mrs. Trump: well-being, which includes the social and emotional health of children; social media, and understanding both the positive and negative effects it has on our children; and opioid abuse, and how to protect our most vulnerable from the effects of drug abuse while educating parents about the detrimental effects of opioids.
After the launch, the First Lady is dedicated to carrying out her BE BEST campaign.