Upward Bound Scholars @ Michelle Obama's Book Tour Event

Hear about how much the experience meant to them in their own words

Participants in our Upward Bound program were invited by the Girls Opportunity Alliance and the Obama Foundation to attend Michelle Obama’s Book Tour event at the historic Chicago Theater. They were absolutely thrilled by the special experience that will clearly have a lasting impact on each of them as reflected below. We're grateful to our dedicated partners and former GCYC staffer, Briana Lawrence, for providing these valuable exposure experiences. Special thanks to Ashley Harris, our Academic Program Manager, for her thoughtful guidance of these exceptional young women.

Dyani, 16 years old: I really enjoyed seeing her because I was already loving the chance to see my former first lady but I liked it even more after it was over because I actually took something from it. She talked about different subjects like growing up as a black girl which I connected to, and the overall idea of being comfortable with who you are which allows you to push through difficult times. I am grateful for the opportunity.

Kamorra, 17 years old: I really loved it, it was extremely inspirational getting the opportunity to hear a black woman from the South Side of Chicago talk about her struggles to get to the top and find love in her heart through all the hatred in the world. This encouraged me to continue to shine in all that makes me different and unique.

Alexis, 18 years old: Some of the highlights and things I took away from Mrs. Obama were: “life can be unfair and uncertain, but you have to fall and get back up.” She talked about how laughter is a tool her family used to get through hard times, and it can be used as a tool to get through things. I loved when she said “vulnerability is where your confidence lies.” I like this statement because she talked about being ok in your vulnerability helps you build confidence because we have to love all parts of ourselves, the good and bad. A couple other highlights I resonated with were the idea of how nobody can make you feel bad about yourself, if you feel good about yourself. Lastly, I agree with how she said social media gives people too much access to you, which is true. We have to be conscious about who we let into our space and protect our energy.