The First Lady was at Palm Beach Atlantic University yesterday to pick up the 2020 Women of Distinction Award. On acceptance of the honour, Melania urged for lessons to be taught on how young people can redefine their self worth outside of “likes and retweets” in the cybersphere.
The wife of President Trump said: “We live in an age where too many people allow the number of retweets or likes to define their self-worth. I am convinced now more than ever that teaching healthy online behavior is crucial to securing a safer future for our children.”
Melania’s stance on internet safety is from her “Be Best” campaign which promotes public awareness of youth well being.
The initiative which aims to promote healthy living, encouragement and kindness, has faced criticism before.
There have been allegations that the ‘Be Best’ campaign slogan is lifted from Michelle Obama’s “Be better” line of advice to men, from the 2016 White House United State of Women summit.
Furthermore, it has been claimed that there are direct similarities in messaging between the Be Best pamphlet and one produced by the Obama administration.
In 2018 a Trump spokesperson issued a statement to defend Melania from “opposition media” over the scheme.
She said: “Mrs Trump agreed to add Be Best branding and distribute the booklet in an effort to use her platform to amplify the positive message within.
“As she said in yesterday’s speech, she is going to use Be Best to promote people and organisations to encourage conversation and replication, and helping the FTC distribute this booklet is just one small example.”
Meanwhile, her husband Donald Trump was on Twitter attacking Democratic candidate Mike Bloomberg.
Mr Trump ripped into Bloomberg, calling him “Mini Mike” on Tuesday and, on Wednesday, labelling the Democratic candidate a “pathetic debater.”
Donald wrote: “What Mini Mike is doing is nothing less than a large scale illegal campaign contribution. He is “spreading” money all over the place, only to have recipients of his cash payments, many former opponents, happily joining or supporting his campaign. Isn’t that called a payoff?”
The President has previously lashed out at young climate change activist Greta Thunberg, who was named Time’s 2019 “Person of the Year” award, beating out President Trump to the title.
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In her acceptance speech on Wednesday Melania discussed how adults should be building children’s confidence, and sharing wisdom.
She explained: “Raising emotionally healthy children starts with teaching them how to make responsible decisions.
“It is our job as adults to pass along wisdom and build children’s confidence, so they have the best opportunity to succeed in life.”
Palm Beach Atlantic University President Bill Fleming presented Mrs. Trump with her award. She also received a standing ovation from the crowd of some 550, according to The Palm Beach Post.
“America’s first lady has sounded the call for action,” Fleming reportedly said. “She serves as a role model with brilliance, elegance, and grace.”
But Mrs. Trump’s appearance at Wednesday’s ceremony to accept the “Women of Distinction Award” from Palm Beach Atlantic University drew some criticism from local students.
“This award has historically gone to women whose character and impact in Palm Beach has shaped the culture of our home, and I have not been convinced that the first lady’s character or impact here is worthy of that recognition,” Graysen Boehning, a senior studying biology and zoology at the university, told The Hill.
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