Friday, February 12, 2010

Quite an Impression

Warm welcome: Michelle Obama at the school. Her husband was attending the G20 summit in London

Ten children from Islington secondary schools have been invited to the White House as the personal guests of Michelle Obama.

The First Lady was so moved by the warm response she received at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Girls' Secondary School in Islington that she has invited a group of teenagers to see the presidential residence.

As part of Black History Month, Islington's Ethnic Minority Achievement Service runs an annual essay competition where one winner from each of the borough's secondary schools gets a tour of Washington DC. This is the first time the tour will include the White House.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson takes some of the most disadvantaged children in the country and has an excellent record for improving results and teaching them they can achieve “without limits”.

Deputy headteacher Sarah Beagley said of Mrs Obama's visit: “It was incredibly moving and really inspiring. Everybody was completely touched. She said to the girls: There is injustice in the world and you have a responsibility as the next generation to close the gap, but you must work hard'. It was perfect.”

Mrs Obama was visibly choked at the response she received from pupils in April and keeps a picture of the visit on her desk.

Pupil Nanah Colly-Davis, 15, wrote the winning essay for the school and will meet Mrs Obama for a second time during the trip next Thursday.

She said: “I will be quite nervous going into the White House. I have heard it is so clean, so nice, and the people are really glamorous. My heart will be thumping really hard.

“I like her because she doesn't think she is God; she is herself, and always seems so humble. But she went to Princeton and Harvard, which is really amazing.”

Courtesy: Alistair Foster - London Evening Standard (