April 9 (UPI) -- First lady Melania Trump held a listening session with 13 middle school students Monday to discuss issues they face at home, school and with their friends.
Trump was joined by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the group of children -- including 10 who attend public school, two who are home-schooled and one who attends a public charter school -- for the discussion in the White House's Blue Room.
"I'm very excited that you're here today with me, and thank you in advance for sharing your stories and your thoughts about your struggles and challenges," Trump said. "I want to help children everywhere to be their best, so with your help, we can achieve positive results."
Trump had the students share their names and favorite hobbies, as well as how they feel when they're at home or school.
Students approached a smart board in the room and wrote words describing their feelings ranging from "nervous" to "happy" and "responsible."
Trump later had an off-camera, hourlong discussion with the students about her efforts to decipher the issues of young people, East Wing communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN.
"As we all know, Mrs. Trump's focus is the overall well-being of children," Grisham said. "So it stands to reason that she would want to speak directly to them about issues they face on a daily basis."