First Lady Melania Trump was honored by Palm Beach Atlantic University’s with the Women of Distinction award at a luncheon Wednesday afternoon.
For the past 28 years, PBAU, a private Christian university in West Palm Beach, Florida, always honors two woman as honorees who have made significant contributions to the community each year at an honorary luncheon. This year, Melania was the solo honoree.
Taking the stage to accept the award, Melania highlighted her signature #BeBest issue, that was launched in 2018 to promote the well-being of children through encouraging the eradication of trends such as cyberbullying and opioid use.
“As the first lady of the United States, it is a great honor to serve the people of this incredible country,” Melania told a room full of 550 attendees held in The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. “Two years ago I launched Be Best, an initiative dedicated to ensuring that we as Americans are doing everything we can to take care of the next generation. When we teach our children to cherish our values and care for each other; they are better prepared to carry on Americans legacy of compassion service and patriotism. It is our duty as adults and parents to ensure they had the best opportunities to lead fulfilling, healthy, and successful lives.”
“When we teach our children to cherish our values and care for each other, they are better prepared to carry on Americans’ legacy of compassion, service and patriotism,” she added.
Melania warned against the dangers of social media use amongst children and advocated for “teaching healthy online behavior”
“Technology has become a daily part of our children’s lives in both positive and negative ways. We live in an age where too many people allowed the number of retweets or likes to define their self worth,” the first lady warned in her 10 minute remarks. “I’m convinced now more than ever that teaching healthy online behavior is crucial to securing a safer future for our children. It’s our job as adults to pass along wisdom and build children’s confidence so they have the best opportunity to succeed in life.”
On opioid abuse, one of the pillars of her Be Best campaign, Melania gave credit to her husband, President Trump for his administration in helping her campaign in committing $6 billion to fight drug overdose deaths.
“Opioids have affected the lives of more than 2 million children in the United States,” Melania said, including the children of addicts. “I’ve seen firsthand how opioid abuse affects families who struggling with addiction. I have traveled to children’s hospitals and treatment facilities who support those affected by opioids.”
She was proud to announce that for the “first time in 29 years, drug overdose deaths have dropped by more than 4 percent”
“A testament to the hard work and dedication of this administration to fight the drug epidemic.”
The university praised the first lady’s work when announcing last month that she was the award’s solo recipient.
“Our first lady is an exquisite human being, a magnificent wife and life partner, a superb mother, and an outstanding first lady who represents us brilliantly in the United States and worldwide,” event co-chairwoman Eileen Burns said. “Melania is a perfect example of a Woman of Distinction, and we are most proud to honor her.”
The university says it’s been holding this event for more than twenty-five years. Previous winners include Barbara Nicklaus, the wife of golf great Jack Nicklaus; Candy Carson, the wife of Housing Secretary Ben Carson; fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer; and Helen DeVos, whose husband Rich co-founded Amway.
Proceeds from the luncheon go toward a scholarship fund for female students.