Belfast Telegraph

Analyst tells of how meeting Michelle Obama changed her life

Letrishka Anthony was 16 when she met the then-First Lady at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in 2009.

A former London schoolgirl who first met Michelle Obama in 2009 has said meeting the then-First Lady had a profound impact on her life.

Letrishka Anthony was 16 when Mrs Obama first visited Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School during her first year in the White House and is one of the school’s alumni to join her on a visit to the campus nine years later.

The wife of the 44th president returned to the school as part of her book tour for her autobiography Becoming.

She answered questions from Anthony, fellow former pupil Winnie Mac and Nusrath Hassan, a former pupil of Mulberry School, which was visited by Mrs Obama in 2015.

Anthony, 25, is now a senior analyst at a business intelligence company and told the Press Association it was “amazing” to meet the former First Lady again.

She said: “It was a lot more of a personal interaction and honestly she is so believable because I feel like she really humbles herself, she really talks about things that we can relate to, she even spoke about doubt and how sometimes she also doubts herself and those are things that we can all relate to, no matter how accomplished we are.

“I was 16 at the time (of her first visit) and I think just as a role model to look up to as a strong, beautiful, empowered woman, her emphasis on education, feeding back through to the younger generation (is important).

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Michelle Obama on her visit to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington, north London in 2009 (PA)

“Without education she wouldn’t be where she is, those are all values that I think as young females, regardless of how we look and no matter what race you are, those are values that we should keep close to us and really will get us through life.”

Hassan, who is reading law at SOAS University of London, said Mrs Obama had inspired her to take on voluntary work and serve as deputy secretary-general at the London International Model United Nation Foundation.

She said: “She is phenomenal, she has always been phenomenal and it’s great to see her come back to see both EGA and Mulberry School students.

“The way she made us feel when she first came in 2015 for the UK launch of Let Girls Learn, we felt those same sparks again.

“I think it’s impacted my life personally in so many ways, I’m in the third year of law school right now and I’ve also gone on to so many voluntary roles.”

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