Going to an official event at the White House is a big deal for a teenager.
Now, add the President and First Lady of the United States into the mix, and that’s a dream come true. That’s what today was: a dream come true.
As a Girl Up Teen Advisor and advocate for girls, I was asked to attend the Let Girls Learn announcement at the White House. There are 62 million girls out of school globally, and the Let Girls Lead initiative is hoping to do something about it through a partnership with the Obama administration, USAID, Peace Corps and campaigns like Girl Up!
Want to know what it was like to attend? Here’s a peek inside the hours leading up to, during and after the Let Girls Lead launch.
My day started off at my hotel where I spent a ridiculous amount of time excitedly getting ready for the event. With the help of Girl Up, I was safely able to use the metro (first time ever!) and get to the UN Foundation office. I spent some time there with Girl Up, and then around lunch time, I strolled around the National Mall to calm my nerves and get excited for the upcoming event.
Then, the time for me to head over the White House had finally arrived. Accompanying me to the White House was Girl Up Director Melissa Hillebrenner. Let me let you in on a little secret: to enter into the White House is no joke. There are about 10 different security checkpoints and even dogs that can sniff the fear from inside of you!
Going into the White House was such a surreal experience. I felt I was entering the Disney palace from Beauty and the Beast movie − it was so beautiful! The cold and my nervous energy had me shaking pretty good, and all I could think about was how important this event would be for girls around the world, and how honored I was to be in the same place as the President and the First Lady of the United States.
The event was truly inspiring. I was so happy to see that both President Obama and the First Lady are such strong champions for girls’ education, and that they are both passionate about helping more girls go to and stay in school.
“I’m convinced that a world in which girls are educated is a safer, more stable, more prosperous place,” President Obama said.
Michelle Obama said that she wants us to be citizens of the world, and I couldn’t help but feel proud that I was already doing that. I am not only proud to be a girl, but I am proud to be a part of Girl Up to help create this movement for equality for girls everywhere. Let girls learn!