It didn’t sink in that they were about to see the First Lady of the United States until they were settled in their seats, and the music stopped to signal the beginning of the program.
When Michelle Obama walked onto the stage, the 125 female, middle and high school Democracy Prep scholars shrieked in excitement, took pictures with their cellphones, and later snapped their fingers in support each time Michelle Obama dropped a pearl of wisdom about a girl’s right to education.
The event, which was hosted by Glamour Magazine and emceed by actress and activist Sophia Bush, featured actress Charlize Theron, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and teen activist Nurfahada, as panelists with the First Lady.
Held at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, and live-streamed by AOL, the panel, titled, “The Power of an Educated Girl,” was part of the launch of the “Let Girls Learn” campaign started by President Obama and The First Lady to support the more than 62 million girls around the world who do not have access to education.
The panelist talked about the importance of supporting a worldwide effort to increase education opportunities for girls, shared wisdom as to why it’s important to stay focused in school, and answered questions from the audience, including two questions from Democracy Prep scholars.
In response to a question from Tiffany, a 9th grader at Democracy Prep Endurance High School about why supporting girls education is so important to her, Mrs. Obama spoke about the tremendous potential she sees in girls all around the world. She said, “You all are able to lead, to shine, and to teach. You don’t have to be the First Lady to have a huge voice and an influence.”
Stephanie G., a junior at Harlem High school said that the panel left her and her classmates feeling inspired. “We walked away thinking about just how much education impacts our future and the world.”
View Pictures from The Power of an Educated Girl Panel
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