The 4th of July is finally here. That means barbeques in the park, fireworks, and celebrating the birth of our nation. But even more important, it’s the birthday of one of our favorite First Daughters, Malia Obama. In honor of her special day, here’s five times the freshly minted 20-year-old made us all proud.
1. When she was accepted into Harvard University
Both Barack and Michelle Obama attended Harvard Law School, so it’s no surprise that their alma mater was on Malia’s radar. Harvard is ranked among the top five universities in the U.S., and we’re proud that our girl was among the 5.9 percent of students accepted into the prestigious university in 2016.
2. When she interned at HBO
While most students don’t consider internships until they reach their college years, Miss Malia said “Why wait?!” The aspiring filmmaker proceeded to secure an internship on the set of the HBO show Girls the summer before her senior year in high school. The show’s creator, Lena Dunham, as well as the executive producer, Jenni Konner had nothing but great things to say about her, calling her “an angel” and pointing out how smart she was. Super impressive!
3. When she made the decision to take a gap year
The decision to take an educational break between high school and college is unconventional, but the practice is becoming more and more common among teen grads. We’re proud that Malia took a chance and went off the beaten path. Plus, the extra time before going off to Harvard left her with even more opportunities to impress us with her many ventures, including another film internship.
4. When she joined her mother’s tour to promote education for girls
In June 2016, Malia set out on a meaningful, three-nation excursion with her mother, sister, and grandmother to promote ‘Let Girls Learn,’ an initiative started by Barack and Michelle Obama that aims to equip adolescent girls with the tools they need to learn. On the trip, the women visited Liberia, Morocco, and Spain, meeting with foreign leaders to discuss girls’ access to education.
5. When she showed the world she can deal with negative press
The media has come for Malia Obama a number of times for simply behaving like a regular teenager. But the classy young woman has always handled it with maturity and a splash of humor. Remember when she was photographed smoking at a music festival? Her response to the backlash was merely to rock a t-shirt that read “Smoking Kills” as she went about her life. Now that’s the epitome of unbothered.