Malia Obama Graduates High School

By Chika Dunu, Epoch Times
June 10, 2016 Updated: June 10, 2016

Malia Obama, the eldest daughter of the president, graduated from Sidwell Friends School on June 10.

The exclusive private school in the District of Columbia posted a photo of the 2016 graduating class on to its Facebook page. 

“On a perfect June morning, joyfulness re16ned as the Class of 2016 received their diplomas,” read the caption.

Malia is in the third row, center, wearing a white dress and surrounded by her classmates.

President Obama has spoken candidly and emotionally about watching his “best friend” transition into adulthood.

It’s hard,” he said in a February interview with Ellen DeGeneres. “As Michelle reminds me, our job is to prepare them not to need us and both of my daughters are wonderful people. And Malia is more than ready to leave, but I’m not ready for her to leave. I was asked if I would speak at her graduation, and I said, ‘absolutely not, because I’m gonna be sitting there with dark glasses sobbing.'”

He added, “She’s one of my best friends. It’s gonna be hard for me not to have her around all the time. But she’s ready to go. You can tell. She’s just a really smart, capable person. She’s ready to make her own way.”

Malia has decided to take a gap year and will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017. First lady Michelle Obama has said that Malia wants to be a filmmaker. The soon-to-be 18-year-old landed an internship last summer—working on the set of HBO’s hit series “Girls.”

The first family’s time in the White House is coming to an end, but the family will stay in the District of Columbia area. They have decided to allow youngest daughter, Sasha, to finish high school—Sidwell Friends School—saying “transferring someone in the middle of high school—tough.”

There was no press coverage of the event and the Obamas looked to treat “this as a private family moment,” said a White House official to PEOPLE.

Today is also Sasha’s 15th birthday.