02/10/2013 01:52 pm ET Updated Feb 11, 2013

Michelle Obama To Friends Of Hadiya Pendleton: 'Stay Strong'

Story by Kyla Gardner, courtesy DNAinfo Chicago:

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — First lady Michelle Obama told young friends of slain teen Hadiya Pendleton that they need to "stay strong" and look forward to their bright futures, students said.

The first lady met privately with students, friends and family before the funeral for Hadiya, the 15-year-old King College Prep student who was fatally shot blocks from the school Jan. 29.

“She was trying to give us encouragement, things to be looking forward to…going to college, making something of ourselves,” said King sophomore Kalyn Jones, who shared memories of Hadiya during the service.

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Hadiya Pendleton