In between belting Stevie Wonder, dancing to Beyoncé and delighting in a surprise appearance from Missy Elliott, first lady Michelle Obama brought up a serious message during her appearance on “The Late Late Show with James Corden”: the importance of educating girls around the world.
While participating in a “Carpool Karaoke” segment, Obama told the show’s host that she launched a Snapchat account to document her recent travel to Liberia, Morocco and Spain. The goal of the trip was to highlight her Let Girls Learn initiative, which she launched last year to educate more girls. Globally, more than 62 million girls are currently not in school.
“So much could be corrected in the world if girls were educated and had power over their lives,” Obama said. “My message to kids here is, don’t take your education for granted, because there are girls around the world who would die to get the education that we have. They would do anything. They would move mountains to make it happen. I want our girls and our boys here to be aware of it, I want them to come along on this trip with me, and Snapchat was a good way to hook them in.”
Through the Let Girls Learn, thousands of American Peace Corps members stationed across the globe now get training in gender and girls education. The program works with multiple government agencies and outside organizations to invest in and elevate programs that directly impact girls in at-risk areas.
The first lady wrote about the importance of the initiative in The Wall Street Journal last March.
“The research is unequivocal: Girls who attend secondary school marry and have children later, and they have lower maternal and infant-mortality rates and lower rates of HIV/AIDS,” Obama wrote at the time. “Every additional year of education can increase a girl’s earning power by 10% to 20%; and sending more girls to school can boost an entire country’s economy. National-security experts have even noted that educating women can be a powerful tool to fight extremism, violence and instability.”