Michelle Obama took a break this week from her campaign to rid the nation’s schools of cupcakes to urge American girls to go to college.
“Whatever you do, I urge you to take your education seriously,” she wrote in an open letter published Wednesday morning by Seventeen, “because no matter what you want to do with your life, I guarantee that you will need a high school diploma and some higher education, like a two-year or four-year college degree or a professional certificate.”
She acknowledged the poor state of many American schools, but wrote that’s not an excuse for any young person to drop out. “To any girl — or any young person — who might be thinking this way, I have a simple message: you can do better — for yourself, your family and your country.”
“I know that your school might not be as good as it should be, or you might be facing challenges in your family that make it hard for you to focus in class,” she continued. “But if girls across the globe can walk hours each day from their villages to attend school, or work two or three jobs to pay their school fees, or even risk their lives to attend school, then I know you can overcome any obstacles you face.”