The First Lady delivered a powerful speech at a Tower Hamlets comprehensive.
Michelle Obama’s global iniative to promote females going into further education has landed in London.
The First Lady – who flew into the city earlier this week with daughters Sasha and Malia – visited the Mulberry School in Tower Hamlets yesterday where she delivered a pretty poweful speech.
Michelle was visibly moved as she openly told pupils at the comprehesive about her struggle to balance family life with education when she was growing up. She then likened her story as a young black woman trying to succeed in America to the experiences young Muslim women face in the UK.
Here are the five most inspiring things Michelle, 51, said during her rousing Let Girls Learn talk.
1. ‘I’m here because when I look out at all of these young women, I see myself. In some ways, your story is my story. I grew up in a working class neighbourhood on the south side of Chicago. A neighbourhood a lot like this one where people work hard to make ends meet but where families are tight-knit with strong values.’
2. ‘We constantly felt the struggle to balance our family responsibilities, the school work and the activities and the goals we had for ourselves. And through it all, my parents fully expected us to do both; to achieve our dreams and be there for our family. And they also knew that a good education was the ultimate key to our success.’
3. ‘My parents told me everyday that I could do anything. I could grow up to be a doctor, a lawyer, a scientist, whatever, but only if I worked as hard as I could succeed in school. I see a room full of surgeons and business leaders and barristers. I see women who are going to win elections. I see a room full of leaders who are going to inspire people not just in Tower Hamlets but all across the country and all around the world. I know what’s inside people like you and me.’
4. ‘I’ve seen it again and again that what our parents told us really is true. That if we get our education we can do anything. We can lift up our sights to anything we can imagine. We truly can be builders of a new day.’
5. ‘You can’t underestimate the importance of resilience. The trials and tribulations of life may be great – getting through them is the ultimate challenge. That’s what life is. The question is what happens when you fail. When you work as hard as you can and you don’t reach your goal. What do you do, do you fall apart? Do you beat yourself up? Or do you get up and work a little bit harder? That’s what success is. That’s the ultimate quality of a successful person. It’s resilience.’