Marrakech – It was an honor for me to be among the twenty-four girls who attended the Let Girls Learn event in Marrakech, Morocco on Tuesday.
Actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto, CNN news correspondent Isha Sesay, and First Lady Michelle Obama were all involved to promote the initiative’s debut in Morocco.
On June 27, the first part of our two day experience, all the girls were invited to discover to USAID’s new Career Center in Marrakesh’s Cadi Ayyad University. The Career Center provides many services to high school and college students to help us prepare for our academic and professional lives. We learned about the resources available at the Center, including assistance to help us develop our soft skills, write resumes and cover letters, perform well in interviews, and use LinkedIn to help us find jobs.
After our visit to the career center, we were invited to attend an iftar with the Ambassador of the United States of America, Mr. Dwight L. Bush, Sr. and his wife, Mrs. Toni Cook Bush. Many leading figures in education, Moroccan and American alike, were present, including actress Meryl Streep. During the meal, I had the honor of sitting next to the ambassador himself. We talked about girls’ education in Morocco and the struggles that we face. Mr. Bush was very supportive; he encouraged me and the other girls to continue our schooling as a way to empower ourselves and make our dreams come true.
The next day, I had the honor of joining a round table discussion about girls’ education with Mrs. Obama, Ms. Streep, Ms. Pinto, and Ms. Sesay. During the round table, we discussed the obstacles that girls face worldwide and how to education can help overcome these struggles. The First Lady shared her personal story and the struggles she faced during her childhood. She emphasized that she never gave up, and has always worked as hard as she could to achieve her dreams. “There is no secret magic [to success],” Mrs. Obama told the girls, “except our hard work and hope to always look for the best in ourselves.”
I would like to thank the Peace Corps in Morocco for choosing me to represent them at this event. I know am only one girl among many in my country who faces obstacles when struggling to continue my education. Being among all these inspirational ladies at the round table gave me hope. Mrs. Obama is a role model for millions of girls all over the world by inspiring them to study and continue their education. Her visit to Marrakech changed my life by inspiring me to work hard and dream big.
Edited by Bryn Miller