PALM BEACH, Fla. - First lady Melania Trump was recognized Wednesday by Palm Beach Atlantic University as its 2020 “Woman of Distinction.”
The private Christian university, located in West Palm Beach, Florida, typically honors two women who have contributed to the community during its annual awards luncheon — but this year Trump was the sole recipient.
First lady Melania Trump visits the Children’s Inn at National Institutes of Health on Feb. 14, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
“Our first lady is an exquisite human being, a magnificent wife and life partner, a superb mother and an outstanding first lady,” the luncheon’s co-chairwoman Eileen Burns previously told USA Today.
“Melania is a perfect example of a Woman of Distinction and we are most proud to honor her.”
In her role as first lady, Trump has focused on major issues facing children — launching an initiative called Be Best in 2017. The initiative aims to concentrate on issues impacting children today, focusing on three main pillars: well-being, online safety and opioid abuse.
"It's our job as adults to pass along wisdom and build children's confidence so they have the best opportunity to succeed in life," Trump said during the event. "Technology has become a daily part of our children lives — in both positive and negative ways. We live in an age where too many people allow the number of retweets or likes to define their self worth."
Trump said she has met with tech companies like Microsoft, who are creating safer online experience for children.
“I'm convinced now more than ever that teaching healthy online behavior is crucial to securing a safer future for our children,” she added.
Previous recipients of the award, which honors women “who cherish community and family and want to preserve these ideals for others,” have included fashion designer and philanthropist Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright and Candy Carson, author, philanthropist and wife of U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson.
“First ladies define the history of our country,” co-chair Frances Fisher told USA Today. “We are honored to recognize Mrs. Trump as a Woman of Distinction and the only first lady since Mrs. Kennedy to be a Palm Beach resident.”
This story was reported from Cincinnati.