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MEXICO CITY — Moved by their singing and dancing as well as their difficult lives, Michelle Obama hugged student after student at a Mexico City elementary school on Wednesday, offering individual hugs, small group hugs and mass embraces in which her towering frame was intertwined with a dozen or more pint-sized children jockeying for a touch of the American first lady.

“Just to let you know — today you did your country proud,” she said on the second day of her first solo foray out of the United States as first lady, a trip in which she surrounded herself with young people and attempted to offer them hope no matter how hardscrabble their lives. Speaking in a video message on her way from Haiti to Mexico that the White House distributed Wednesday morning, Mrs. Obama said: “My message to the young people is that success and possibility doesn’t know a race, a background, a gender, a socioeconomic class. We are going to need the energy and the passion of every single young person. We are going to have to develop those schools and have those young people believing in their own potential.”

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Michelle Obama Goes To Mexico For 1st Solo Trip Abroad

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