A group of teenage girls reading Michelle Obama’s best-selling memoir Becoming got a special surprise this week.
The former first lady was in Dallas for her book tour on Monday when she stopped by a young women’s leadership conference at the Winspear Opera House, The Dallas Morning News reported.
In video from local station NBC 5 News, a smaller group of attendees can be seen and heard excitedly cheering as Obama walks in. The students had been having a discussion on Becoming when the author made her appearance, according to the newspaper.
Her presence brought many of the young women to tears.
“Everything she went through, it wasn’t for herself,” one teenage girl told NBC 5. “It was for kids like me that are dealing with struggles. To make us understand and acknowledge that we can be who we want to be.“
During her visit, Obama also spoke before the entire conference, which more than 100 young women were attending.
Obama later joined Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, for a conversation onstage at the city’s American Airlines Center. She has made a number of surprise visits in various cities during her tour.
In a tweet Wednesday, Obama shared some of the words of encouragement she gave the young women during the conference.
“As I told the ladies I met in Dallas, your story is the most powerful part of who you are—the struggles, failures, successes and everything in between,” she wrote. “Remember to always stay open to new experiences and never let the doubters get in the way. You all are beautiful.”