Michelle Obama welcomes Elizabeth Garrett Anderson pupils to White House

Michelle Obama welcomed 12 schoolgirls and their headteacher to the White House this week.

More than 200 Year 9 and 10 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) students applied for the visit to Washington following the group invite from America’s first lady.

She visited the school in Donegal Street back in 2009 and delivered an inspirational speech about her own experience growing up in a working class neighbourhood in Chicago.

According to a biography released earlier this year, Mrs Obama “made sense” of her role during her time at the school. She went on to invite a pupil from every secondary school in Islington to the White House in 2010, sent a letter congratulating the EGA students on their improved GCSE results and then invited 35 students from the all-girls school to accompany her on a trip to the University of Oxford in 2011.

During the most recent example of Mrs Obama’s special relationship with EGA, the pupils, accompanied by headteacher Jo Dibbs and two other members of staff, took part in workshops with senior female policy makers and diplomats.

The party, which jetted off on Saturday and was due back today (Thursday), also enjoyed a tour of the White House and met the British Prime Minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron, who was also visitng this week.

Before heading across the Atlantic, student Nishat Tasnim, 14, said: “I would like to be the first Asian prime minister in the UK so this trip will be a fantastic chance to improve my political knowledge and skills.”

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Tina Delic, 15, added: “This trip will be the experience of a lifetime and will inspire me for the future.”

Ms Dibbs said: “EGA girls are special. They achieve highly and have such high aspirations. We are delighted that they have been invited to Washington, an experience which will help to fuel those aspirations and inspire them to keep working towards their dreams.”

Cllr Richard Watts, executive member for children and families said: “EGA is an outstanding school and deserves all the attention that they’re getting.

“Times are tough for young people at the moment and Michelle Obama is a truly inspiring role model who shows what can be achieved with hard work.”

The trip was funded by the Guardian newspaper and law firm Hogan Lovells.