Leadership

Barack and Michelle Obama to Parkland students: 'You've helped awaken the conscience of the nation'

Ahead of the March For Our Lives demonstration in Washington, D.C. on March 24, former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama wrote a letter to the students who survived February's mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.

"We wanted to let you know how inspired we have been by the resilience, resolve and solidarity that you have all shown in the wake of unspeakable tragedy," the couple wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Mic.

Immediately after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, students turned to activism, organizing Saturday's march as a way to urge legislators to make changes to gun laws in an effort to put an end to mass shootings.

Survivors of Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (L-R) Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and Alex Wind speak at a panel discussion titled '#NEVERAGAIN: How Parkland Students are Changing the Conversation on Guns' moderated by Meighan Stone at Harvard University on March 20, 2018 .
Paul Marotta | Getty Images
Survivors of Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (L-R) Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and Alex Wind speak at a panel discussion titled '#NEVERAGAIN: How Parkland Students are Changing the Conversation on Guns' moderated by Meighan Stone at Harvard University on March 20, 2018 .

The March For Our Lives Movement is primarily being spearheaded by students Emma González, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Jacklyn Corinn, Alex Wind and Ryan Deitsch.

"Not only have you supported and comforted each other, but you've helped awaken the conscience of the nation, and challenged decision-makers to make the safety of our children the country's top priority," the Obamas wrote in the letter, dated March 10. CNBC Make It reached out to the Obama Foundation for comment but did not receive a response before publication.

The couple also expressed their support for the Parkland students in the days following the tragedy. On February 15th the former president tweeted that "we are not powerless. Caring for our kids is our first job."

About a week later, he emphasized that "young people have helped lead all our great movements."

The former first lady shared her faith in and support for the students as well.

The Obamas ended their letter by highlighting the historical significance of the students' persistence.

"Throughout our history, young people like you have led the way in making America better. There may be setbacks; you may sometimes feel like progress is too slow in coming," the couple wrote. "But we have no doubt you are going to make an enormous difference in the days and years to come, and we will be there for you."

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