The #BUILTBYGIRLS team had the lucky chance to sit front and center (well, front and stage right to be accurate) as Mrs. Obama candidly shared her thoughts on the power of educating girls. Cindi Leive, editor in chief of Glamour, moderated The Power of an Educated Girl conference (sponsored by Maybelline) with The First Lady, Charlize Theron, Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Nerfahada, a 16-year-old Plan International girl ambassador from the Philippines. Sophia Bush kicked off the day as MC, showing a room full of girl student groups how to drop some killer advice while rocking a killer sparkly skirt.
Not only did we get a surprise performance from Nico & Vinz, who are all about girl power, but we walked out of the historic Apollo Theater in NYC with some SERIOUS knowledge. Read on for an education in being a kick-butt, powerful woman, and to find out how you can help the #62MillionGirls campaign.
Lesson 1. One day, the world will be #BUILTBYGIRLS
"We know women are strong. We are powerful. We run the show -- Beyoncé taught us that." -Sophia Bush
"We have been told to live by a certain mold. It is up to us to break it." -Charlize Theron
Lesson 2: It's Not Easy, But It's Worth It
"Life is long. Slow down, breathe, don't feel so rushed." Also..."don't wear shoulder pads." -Michelle Obama
"Just stay determined. Know that you will fail at things." -Michelle Obama
Lesson 3: Brains = Beauty
"The most valuable part of you is your brain. Smart is beautiful, it is sexy, it is badass." -Sophia Bush
"There is nothing sexier than a smart woman." -Charlize Theron
Lesson 4: Girls' Education is a SOLUTION
"When girls are shut out, the community can't prosper. It's like playing with half a deck." -Cindi Leive
"If we want to improve the plight of our country, educating girls is the key to that." -Michelle Obama
Lesson 5: Stay in School, Stay Focused
"The first thing you have to do is care about your education." -Michelle Obama
"If I was worried about who liked me and who thought I was cute when I was your age, I wouldn't be married to the president of the United States right now." -Michelle Obama
Lesson 6. YOU Got the Power
"You have to know in your heart that you are worthy of this—that you can shine and you can lead." -Michelle Obama
"Every single one of you is powerful enough to change the world." -Sophia Bush Let Girls Learn and Glamour's The Girl Project for more.
-Danielle Letayf and Victoria Marlin