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A White House Upbringing: Sasha and Malia Obama Through the Years


In January, the daughters of Barack and Michelle Obama will say goodbye to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the place they have called home for the last eight years.

As the time ticks down on the family’s tenure in the White House, InsideEdition.com takes a look back on Sasha and Malia growing up in America’s most famous home.

Moving In

In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African-American elected to the presidency. When he was inaugurated in January 2009, his family because the first non-Caucasians to live at the White House.

Read: Girl, 8, Tells Obama in Adorable Letter to 'Wear Tie-Dye,' 'Do Something Fun,' President Responds

The world was officially introduced to first daughters at Chicago's Grant Park after the votes were counted on Election Day and President Obama gave his victory speech.

The simple yet elegant style of Sasha and Malia quickly made them fashion favorites to young girls around the country.

Sasha and Malia were 7 and 10 respectively when they moved into the White House. Sasha became the youngest child to live there since John F. Kennedy Jr., who was an infant when his father was inaugurated in 1961.

Growing Up in Front of the World

During their eight years in Washington, D.C., the girls have grown up before the public’s eye.

In 2016, Obama spoke to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show and praised his daughters’ disposition inside the White House and in front of the limelight.

"They’ve handled it so well. They are just wonderful girls. They’re smart and funny, but most importantly, they’re kind. They don’t have an attitude. That was the thing me and Michelle were most worried about when we got there. But they’ve just turned out to be incredible kids. I could not be prouder,” Obama said.

Read: Michelle Obama Talks Post-White House Plans in Oprah Interview: 'I Want to Go to Target'

On Election night in 2008, their father made good on a promise that they would get a dog should he be elected president. A few months later, Bo, a Portuguese water dog became the family pet.

In 2013, after Obama won re-election, they welcomed Sunny, another Portuguese water dog.

(Sasha, Malia, Michelle Obama during 2013 Inauguration. Image: Getty)

In eight years, the first daughters traveled across America and around the world to places like Germany, China, Chile, Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, Great Britain and Italy. As they have traveled, the teenagers did their best to represent their parents and country on state visits.

(During a state visit to China in 2014. Image: Getty)

But the fact that they reside at America's most famous address does not mean they're different than other kids. Malia learned how to drive in 2014.

She also had some free time to venture out on their own without their folks as she was photographed at this summer’s Lollapalooza music festival in her native Chicago. In 2014, she vacationed with friends in Mexico. 

During the holiday break, the family would travel to Hawaii each year to celebrate Christmas and New Year's. 

(The Obamas in Hawaii, December 2009. Image: Getty)

Read: Why Michelle Obama Couldn't Teach Malia to Drive

In an interview with Ellen in September, Michelle Obama praised her daughters, saying: “I’m proud of them they’ve really managed this so well. I mean, I just love them to death and the big thing I’ve always worried about was making sure that they got out of this whole. I’m just proud that they are poised, smart, intelligent young women.”

(The Obamas at a charity event in 2011. Image: Getty)

In March, when the first family hosted a state dinner with Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau and his clan, the president got choked up when he spoke about how his daughters grew up in the White House.

“When I was first elected to this office Malia was 10 and Sasha was just seven. They grow up too fast," he said. "This fall Malia heads off to college... I’m starting to choke up. So I’m going to wind this... I can’t do it. It’s hard.”

He continued: “But there is a point to this, though, and that is that we’re not here for power. We’re not here for fame or fortune. We’re here for our kids. We’re here for everybody’s kids — to give our sons and our daughters a better world.

“To pass to them a world that’s a little safer, and a little more equal, and a little more just, a little more prosperous so that a young person growing up in Chicago or Montreal or on the other side of the world has every opportunity to make of their life what they will, no matter who they are or what they look like, or how they pray or who they love.”

Leaving the White House

As America prepares for a new first family to live within the walls of the White House, the Obamas truly left their mark.

(Barack Obama with his daughters on the White House South Lawn in 2014. Image: Getty)

The family will stay in Washington for an additional year so Sasha can finish high school and Malia will take a gap year before heading to Harvard in fall 2017.

The first lady told Ellen that she believes her daughters will “have a tough time” leaving the White House. She also believes it will be difficult for them to return to civilian life.

Read: Why Michelle Obama's Mom Was Worried About Her Daughter Marrying Barack

“They think they’re ready, but when you’ve grown up in a place … I mean, imagine: They won’t be able to knock on a door and say, ‘Can I see my room?’ That’s not gonna happen,” Michelle Obama said.

(The Obamas during Christmas at the White House 2015. Image: Getty)

While material things will be hard to leave behind, the hardest task Michelle says her family will face is saying goodbye to the people who have made her family comfortable.

“Think about it: The girls have grown up in the White House. I mean, the staff that’s there — we see them every day. These are people who have helped us raise our kids. They’ve loved us. They’ve taken care of us. The minute we leave, that’s it,” she said.

Watch: Obama Gets Emotional Talking About How Fast His Daughters Are Growing Up 

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