Breakthrough Houston Joins First Lady, Victoria Justice for Virtual Town Hall on Power of Education

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Houston, June 29, 2013–Doughnuts, juice, and a chat with First Lady Michelle Obama. That’s how approximately 25 Houston teens began their Saturday morning. Live in South Africa, Mrs. Obama and MTV Base hosted a virtual town hall connecting youth across the world to speak about the power of education and our shared future. “I want you to think about yourselves as citizens of the world,” Obama urged the youth, “and in order to do that, you’ve got to start reaching out. And this [conversation] is just the beginning.” Joined by Victoria Justice and Girl Up, youth from Breakthrough Houston and St. John’s School participated in the online conversation with students in South Africa and teens in Kansas City, Los Angeles (joined by John Legend), and New York, via Google Hangout.

Education activist and singer John Legend emphasized that education is the key to a better future for youth around the world. “We can talk about justice, and we can talk about equality, but if we are not making sure our kids get a great education, then that promise of equality, that promise of opportunity cannot be completely fulfilled.”

Following the day’s online dialogue, the Breakthrough students felt inspired and made a personal commitment to education.  Samantha Santana remarked, “I know that once I learn something, I am not going to keep it to myself. I’m going to teach it to other people.” As a result of the virtual conversation, Jada Johnson commented that she was “going to try to do more with advocating for girls’ education.” Mrs. Obama reminded the youth that success requires dedication. Honored to have participated and excited about the future, Kelsey Benitez said, “Mrs. Obama really inspired me to go out and pursue my dreams and really work hard for them.”

To watch a video of the event and read about the event from the perspective of the First Lady, click here.