Former First Lady Michelle Obama meets with community leaders in San Jose ahead of book tour

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Former First Lady Michelle Obama is in San Jose for the book tour of her bestselling memoir, "Becoming."Friday afternoon, she stopped by Seven Trees Community Center to share some words of wisdom with the Silicon Valley San Francisco chapter of Public Allies.

"If you are going to lead, and if you're going to have any sign of success, you have to be prepared to fail, maybe even at every turn," said Mrs. Obama.

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Public Allies fellows came together for a leadership workshop ahead of Mrs. Obama's Friday evening appearance at SAP Center. The non-profit organization aims to prepare diverse young people for careers in public service.

"In disbelief for sure-- it hasn't quite set in yet," said Alysyn Martinez, a Public Allies fellow who met with the former First Lady.

Mrs. Obama served as the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies in the 1990's. Years later, she remains a strong supporter of the organization's mission.

"The transparency and the grace in which she leads, that is exactly what she is modeling, and what young people get to see and hear, and identify with," said Public Allies Chief Executive Officer Jaime Uzeta.

Many who were able to attend the private event called it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"There are so many people that I wish could be here, because Michelle Obama has been such a meaningful presence to all of us," said Public Allies fellow Hilary Armstrong.

The fellows, who have been placed in various non-profit organization throughout the Bay Area, say they're now more inspired than ever to do great work in the community.

"She's really been a marker for me my entire life to see what it means to be a powerful woman of color with grace and poise," said Martinez.

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