First lady Michelle Obama speaks about college opportunities during an event in the Eisenhower Executive Office building Jan. 16, 2014, in Washington, D.C.
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At the annual Black Girls Rock ceremony Saturday in New Jersey, Michelle Obama celebrated “the beauty, power and tenacity of black women while spreading her own message of education,” the Associated Press reports.

"No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful," Obama told the crowd of mostly young black girls at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, according to the news outlet.

"I am so proud of you. My husband, your president, is so proud of you," said the first lady, who attended the event as a speaker. "We have so much hope and dreams for you."

The list of honorees, according to AP, included actress Jada Pinkett Smith, singer Erykah Badu, actress Cicely Tyson, Selma director Ava DuVernay, educator Nadia Lopez and Dr. Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, a humanitarian organization.

Black Girls Rock was founded by Beverly Bond in an effort to uplift young black girls, who frequently have difficulty finding positive and reaffirming images. On that note, the first lady delivered a touching statement to three young honorees.

Read more at the Associated Press.