First Lady Michelle Obama attends SXSW panel on education

First Lady Michelle Obama joined a panel of powerful women in the music and TV industry at SXSW Wednesday. The event was to promote her campaign about global education equality for girls.

The first lady of the United States took center stage at the Austin Convention Center Wednesday.

She joined a panel of champions for women’s' rights--actress Sophia Bush, rap artist Missy Elliot and songwriter Diane Warren. Queen Latifah served as moderator. The focus was on Mrs. Obama's campaign Let Girls Learn--an initiative aimed at breaking barriers for the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school.

"We know from the statistics that girls who are educated, they raise healthier kids, lower HIV rates, it can boost an entire country's GDP having more educated women,” said Obama.

Each woman spoke of their struggles to become successful. Missy Elliot found her strength as a child watching her mother leave an abusive relationship. It would come into play when people told her she didn't look the part to make it in the music industry.

'When people are telling you that, it can be very discouraging and you start to believe that. You start to plant that in your mind,” said Elliott. “But here I am of all the things I never thought I'd be sitting here by the first lady!

Mrs. Obama says she too found resistance growing up on the southside of Chicago.

"As I was trying to make my way and do good in school and apply for college. There were always people who were telling me what I couldn't do. Always telling me how far I should only dream and my reaction to that at that time was to prove the doubters wrong,” said Obama.

She continues to do that in the White House, but time is coming to a close. She jokingly entertained the crowd by singing a line from Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”

On a more serious note, she says she will continue her work with women in education. She encouraged everyone to join her.

"The truth is, the change that happens, happens on the ground. It happens from the bottom up,” said Obama.

As Mrs. Obama left, she left those in attendance feeling inspired including a group of Kealing Middle School students.

They got to meet her back stage.

"She shook my hand. We took a picture. It was really nice,” said student Brooke Miller. "It encouraged me to listen to them and actually want to do something. And so now I can go back to school and explain to my other friends like staying in school and working hard is actually worthwhile."

The first lady wants you to visit her website and join the cause here

In case you're wondering, she does not want to run for the White House. She says her daughters are looking forward to a normal life without a parent as president.

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