Melania Trump expands mission of 'Be Best' on its one-year anniversary
© Getty Images

Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMelania Trump breaks ground on new White House tennis pavilion Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Buttigieg unveils aggressive plan to lower drug prices | Supreme Court abortion case poses major test for Trump picks | Trump takes heat from right over vaping crackdown Kroger to stop sales of e-cigarettes at stores MORE is celebrating a birthday — the one-year anniversary of "Be Best" — saying she's expanding the mission of her wide-ranging campaign.

"As I said at my campaign launch a year ago, I'm here with one goal: which is for children to reach their full potential so they can grow up happy, healthy and contribute positively to society and the world," Trump said in a Tuesday ceremony in the White House Rose Garden — the same place where she first kicked off the initiative last May.

ADVERTISEMENT

"With that goal always in mind, we must continue our work to do what we can to affect positive change for our children," the first lady continued, as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE looked on from the audience.

When first revealing Be Best, Melania Trump said it would feature a trio of hot-button issues involving children: social media use, well-being and opioid abuse. At the anniversary gathering, she announced that she was widening those three pillars.

"My office has spent the past year listening to and learning from children, parents, medical professionals, teachers, leaders in technology and social media," Trump, 49, said.

"In fact, this past year has shown me that children are vulnerable to more than just social media, and so I expanded one of my pillars to online safety." Trump also said the campaign would extend its work on opioid abuse to "include kids of all ages."

The former model also announced an appointment made earlier this year.

"For the first time in history, the United States Agency for International Development has appointed a Be Best ambassador," Trump told the crowd. Julie Cram was appointed in March, according to the first lady, as she pushed for other agencies to make similar moves.

"On this one-year anniversary of my initiative, I call on all of our partner agencies to appoint a Be Best ambassador to serve as a liaison between my office and their respective agency to better highlight and promote the programs and services offered to parents and children on behalf of the U.S. government."

Trump unveiled her long-awaited Be Best initiative last spring. But from the get-go, critics pounced on some elements of the campaign. Detractors mocked one of "Be Best's" areas of focus: social media and cyberbullying, pointing to the president's regular use of Twitter to launch verbal attacks on his political opponents.

After listing her travels and experiences over the last year with Be Best, including a solo trip last year to Africa, Trump revealed she planned to make another international visit later this year.

"We plan to travel this fall," Trump said, "and I'm very much looking forward to it."

Trump was joined by three speakers at Tuesday's ceremony, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, Microsoft's Toni Townes-Whitley, and TV anchor and anti-opioid abuse advocate and former Fox News personality Eric Bolling. Bolling heaped praise on Trump, saying, "When the history books are written, there should be a special chapter reserved for our first lady."

Trump, Bolling said, is "the most important and accomplished first lady in American history. Full stop."

Also among those eyed at the event: Vice President Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTop economic adviser warned Trump on reelection chances ahead of China truce: report The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever MORE, White House adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump embarks on Twitter spree amid impeachment inquiry, Syria outrage The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges Trump offers condolences on frequent foe Cummings: 'Very hard, if not impossible, to replace' MORE, Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington On The Money: Senate confirms Scalia as Labor chief | Bill with B in wall funding advanced over Democrats' objections | Lawyers reach deal to delay enforcement of NY tax return subpoena Sanders calls Eugene Scalia's Labor Dept. confirmation 'obscene' MORE, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoDemocratic chairman presses Transportation secretary over transparency in Boeing 737 Max probe Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Democratic lawmaker asks for probe of reports Chao favored Kentucky officials MORE and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.