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Former First Lady Melania Trump joined Fox News’ Pete Hegseth to share updates on her life following her time in Washington D.C. and discuss her Fostering the Future initiative in her first sit-down television interview since leaving the White House.
In the exclusive interview, the former First Lady presents the organization’s first scholarship recipient through the new initiative – part of Trump’s ‘Be Best’ initiative – and tells Hegseth of her excitement for the project.
“It’s exciting to work with leaders of the foster care community and the schools that they are choosing,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the Fostering the Future scholarship.”
Hegseth and Trump then surprised scholarship recipient Michael Whitesman with a video call to discuss his win.
First lady Melania Trump announces the launch of her “Be Best” initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, May 7, 2018. (REUTERS/Leah Millis)
Before giving the floor to Trump, Hegseth asked Whitesman to share his story as someone who grew up in the foster care system.
“I was born to a single mom who was 18-years-old in Southern California, and right after she had me, she proceeded to have her next child. When he was three months old, he passed away in his sleep. At that point, the police came to take me away from my home and they found me home alone sitting on the kitchen floor with a knife in my hands at a year old,” he said,
Whitesman said, he became a foster child at that point and entered into eight different homes over the next four years until he was adopted at his eighth home when he was five years old.
First lady Melania Trump sits down at her table after speaking during the Governors’ Spouses’ luncheon in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Whitesman stressed that he refused to go to college for years since he recognized the pain of debt and that the Fostering the Future opportunity is life-changing for him.
“My whole life, the one thing that I’ve regretted was not having an opportunity to go to college,” he said. “So when I heard about the opportunity that this could be affording it for me, I was just extremely grateful for the generosity and the graciousness of that. So to me, it means a whole bunch.”
Hegseth then surprised Whitesman by revealing that Trump had been present the entire time and gave the two an opportunity to exchange words.
“Thank you so much for your generosity,” Whitesman told Trump.
“You’re very welcome. I just wish you a great success, and I know you are starting the classes in the fall,” she said. “Just make your dreams come true…”
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