Michelle Obama to meet London schoolchildren

Michelle Obama will visit London schoolchildren this month as part of her bid to boost girls’ education across the world.

The US First Lady will meet students for the Let Girls Learn initiative that she and her husband, President Barack Obama, are championing.

She will be joined on the trip to London by her mother, Marian Robinson, and her daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Ms Obama has put the promotion of girls’ education at the centre of her work as First Lady. Six years ago she delivered an emotional address to pupils at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington, North London – an encounter said to have inspired her to take on more of a campaigning role.

During her visit to the school, she told girls it was “cool to be smart” and spoke of her own experience growing up in a working-class neighbourhood in Chicago.

“I want you to know that we have very much in common,” she said to the pupils that day. “There was nothing in my story that would land me here. I wasn’t raised with wealth or resources or any social standing to speak of.”

According to Jodi Kantor, author of The Obamas: a mission, a marriage, the visit was a turning point for Ms Obama. “She looked at the girls looking at her and saw herself through their eyes, noticing how they hung on her every word,” writes Kantor. “She saw the responsibility, the impact, the potential, of her role. Her time in the White House had been isolating, yet now across the Atlantic she felt so connected.”

Today, the US Embassy in London said that Ms Obama would “meet with students and discuss how the UK and the US are working together to expand access to girls’ education around the world, supporting adolescent girls in completing their education”.

Ms Obama’s trip to Europe, on 15-21 June, will also take in Milan and Vicenza in Italy.

Picture from USDA on Flickr

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