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 is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.