Michelle Obama shares with London schoolgirls why the pandemic is a ‘ great blessing’

The former First Lady joined students at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington and Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets on a Zoom call

Michelle Obama via Zoom
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Michelle Obama reconnected with a group of London schoolgirls via Zoom this week and shared with them that they should try and find the positives of the pandemic. 

She told the students of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington and Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets to try and see how the pandemic is a “great blessing” for them. 

“I would view this as a great blessing to all of you, right. Because right now you’re learning how to get through something hard and uncomfortable and unpredictable,” she said on the call. 

“And as I’ve told my girls, that’s what life is. No matter how high you get, or how smart you are, or how successful, life will throw you things that you’re not necessarily prepared for. And if you know how to get yourself through it, you will succeed.”

Michelle Obama joined the students from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington and Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets for a 60-minute conversation on Zoom on Wednesday afternoon, to celebrate the publication of the paperback and younger reader editions of her bestselling memoir BECOMING. 

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During the call, Michelle discussed other big themes like leadership, motivation, and sisterhood.

"Conversations like these keep me optimistic. Meeting all of you, watching your growth,” she told the young students. 

“Listening to how thoughtful and insightful you are, how resilient and determined you’ve been, how strong and capable you are.”

As Michelle writes in BECOMING, she first visited Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in 2009 and has stayed in touch with the school ever since. 

Michelle wrote about her first visit to the school in 2009 visit. In BECOMING, she said, ‘I wasn’t fully prepared, though, to feel what I did when I set foot inside Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School...They were me, as I’d once been. 

 ‘And I was them, as they could be. The energy I felt thrumming in the school had nothing to do with obstacles. It was the power of nine hundred girls striving…

'Looking up at the girls, I just began to talk, explaining though I had come from far away, carrying this strange title of First Lady of the United States, I was more like them than they knew.’

Dr Vanessa Ogden, CEO and Headteacher of Mulberry School for Girls, said, "At Mulberry School for Girls, students past and present are so excited about the launch of Michelle Obama’s book BECOMING, especially adapted for young readers. 

"Childhood and adolescence are such a formative period. Learning from Mrs Obama - one of the greatest, most inspiring women of our time - could not be more important."

Lauren Hughes
Lauren Hughes

Lauren is deputy editor at woman&home.com in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.


Lauren loves helping people share their stories, bringing experiences to life online, honing her interview techniques with everyone from authors to celebrities, headteachers to local heroes. As well as having a good nose for a story, Lauren has a passion for the English language and years of experience optimizing digital content to reach the widest audience possible. During her time at w&h, Lauren has worked on big brand campaigns like the Amazing Women Awards and assisted in developing w&h expert-approved Buyer's Guides—the place to go if you're looking to splash out on an important purchase and want some trusted advice. In addition to her journalism career, Lauren also has a background in copywriting for prestigious brands such as Inhabit Hotel, eco-development K'in in Tulum, social enterprise The Goldfinger Factory and leading London architect Holland Harvey, using language in all its glorious forms, from detailed guidebooks to snappy social content. 


A big fan of adventure, Lauren is also a keen travel writer and loves sharing tips on where to find the best places to eat, drink, and be merry off the beaten track. Lauren has written a series of travel guides for London hotels and loves sharing her insights into a destination's cultural and culinary offerings. If you need a recommendation on any UK destination, she's more than happy to help. At the weekend, you'll usually find her hanging out with her pet cat (or anyone else's pet she can get her hands on), escaping to the countryside, or devouring a good book. 


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