HomeLearning CenterThe Woman Behind the President, First Lady Jill Biden

The Woman Behind the President, First Lady Jill Biden

Originally published by Mallory Waligora for the Oakland Post

First Ladies in American history have taken a pivotal role in American politics. Their work normally remains unnoticed, yet these women are an integral part of White House politics. 

Jill Biden stands next to President Joe Biden as the First Lady of the United States. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Delaware in education. Typically, the first lady creates an initiative that she works for throughout her time in the White House. Jill Biden has taken two official missions that reflect her passions and beliefs. 

“Joining Forces” is her initiative to support the military and their families. Both veterans and families are given support through the community-based network she has created. Her work includes visiting military sites and attending events. Jill Biden’s father, Donald Carl Jacobs, served as a U.S. Navy signalman during World War II.

“Through her Joining Forces work, she has advocated for: increased economic opportunities for military spouses, additional educational programming and support for military children, more focus on health and wellness in the military community and improved resources for caregivers and survivors, including military and veteran children in caregiving homes,” The White House reported

Cancer Moonshot” is the second official initiative run by Jill. The purpose of this organization is to bring awareness to the fight against cancer and provide resources to researchers. Research goals include the acceleration and development of new data. Additionally, the research initiatives include finding ways to minimize the side effects of treatments. “Cancer Moonshot has also created a national database of cancer data that helps facilitate a deeper analysis. 

In 2015, Dr. Biden and Joe Biden lost their son,  Joseph (Beau) Biden, to brain cancer. The loss of her son has a devastating impact on Jill Biden. “Cancer Moonshot” was created soon after the death of Beau, showing her connection to fighting cancer.

In addition to these two official missions, she also is a strong advocate for education. She stresses that school safety is an utmost priority along with equal education access for all, regardless of age. This priority is linked to her doctoral research and her personal interest in education. 

On Jan. 25, Jill Biden announced her new initiative, declaring that firearms safety is vital to protecting children in schools. Jill Biden has stressed the devastating numbers of children dying in schools each year, and that gun violence is a prevalent issue in education today.

Jill Biden has also started recruiting teachers into the field. As the teacher shortage continues, demand rises for educators to teach the next generation. Biden has visited schools to promote a career in education and to rally support for potential educators.

“Teachers are the best recruiters for our profession, so today I visited Rhode Island College to do just that!” Biden writes in an Instagram post. 

While serving as First Lady, Biden teaches at Northern Virginia Community College. She remains the first spouse of a president to keep an independent career outside of the White House.

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