The first lady promised to continue helping teenagers avoid drug abuse in the new year despite receiving varying degrees of support.
Melania Trump is not giving up on children who are at risk of the “dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse” and plans to continue her Be Best youth initiative in the year 2020.
“2019 was a successful year! It was a privilege to meet so many incredible people,” she said on Twitter. “As we head into the new year, I will continue speaking with children and encouraging them to BeBest.”
Be Best has a mission of teaching children the importance of social, emotional, and physical health through three main areas including well-being, online safety, and avoiding opioid abuse. Participating children have a better chance of achieving a better outcome in their own lives according to the White House website.
Melania Trump recently traveled to Baltimore to ask hundreds of middle and high school students to avoid misusing drugs because the habit could only make it harder for them to achieve their dreams in life. She attended the summit, sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and actor Mark Wahlberg’s youth foundation, to introduce Be Best.
“I know each one of you has hopes and dreams for the future, whether it is college, joining the military, or playing a sport,” the first lady previously said at the summit. “Your future will be determined by the choices you make.”
The first lady believes young people can benefit greatly from living without misusing drugs and anyone struggling with addiction should ask for help.
“I am in this fight with you, and I am fighting for you,” she said. “Using drugs will only slow you down and prevent you from achieving those goals.”
However, several teenagers booed at her while she spoke during the B’More Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Nov. 26. Although the audience response was mixed several of the students cheered on and encouraged the first lady throughout her five-minute address.
The first lady acknowledged their right to think for themselves and said their freedom of expression would not stop her from continuing to advocate for youth drug prevention.
“We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion,” the first lady said in a statement. “The fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse.”
Mainstream media speculated the mixed response was due to President Trump’s July concerns that Baltimore has an ongoing pest control problem that had to be addressed to make it a more liveable city.
At the time the president said parts of the city were so badly in need of pest control they had become “rat and rodent infested” and also a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
The remarks prompted protesters to highlight the city’s pest control problem by displaying a giant inflatable rat during the president’s September 2019 visit to Baltimore for a meeting with House Republicans.