WASHINGTON -- Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ book tour will make its third stop at Capitol One Arena in D.C. Saturday.
Mrs. Obama’s November 17 appearance quickly sold out when tickets were released in late September. However, dozens of seats were reserved for a DC non-profit before tickets were made available to the public.
“Hello 826DC,” said Mrs. Obama in a video address to students at the free DC tutoring center.
“I thought it would be fun for all of us writers to get together to share some stories,” she continued.
Mrs. Obama provided 80 complimentary tickets to the students at 826DC.
“I’m very excited to see her and to be breathing the same air as her,” said student, Vanessa Ramon-Ibarra.
826DC is a chapter of the 826 National network, which a youth writing organization helping children ages 6-18 with creative writing skills. Its name, 826, was inspired by the group’s original address in San Francisco.
Through their creative writing program, students like Ramon-Ibarra, who struggled with academics and acceptance are now confidently thriving.
"My writing has matured me and gotten me through a lot," Ramon-Ibarra told WUSA9.
The students get one-on-one support from volunteers who push them to freely tell their stories on paper. Through 826DC, some students also get to become authors and publish their own book.
Mrs.Obama is now added to the lengthy list of motivators at the DC location.
“It's not just us saying keep writing because the world needs to hear you. It's our students' hero saying it as well,” said 826DC Executive Director, Zachary Clark.
826DC partnered with Mrs. Obama when she hosted a writing workshop as First Lady. They helped dozens of students with their college applications at the White House. It’s evident, Mrs. Obama didn’t forget this group.
Now, young writers at 826DC are looking forward to a night they won’t forget.
"I want it to be an experience that will last in my heart and something I would tell my kids,” said Ramon-Ibarra.
When talking about the importance of providing thousands of tickets to community groups across the country, Mrs. Obama said, “It was important to me that all sorts of people could come to the tour events, not just those with means or who happened to be by a computer when the tickets went on sale. I want them to see themselves in my story – to see the value in the fullness of their lives and to imagine who they might become in the years ahead.”