November 30 — 12:24 pm, 2018

Michelle Obama gives advice, hugs to Philly girls

The former first lady sat down with a dozen African American high school girls to talk with them about having the confidence to do new things.

Peter Crimmins

Michelle Obama embraces Nariah, a Philadelphia high school sophomore, during a surprise visit to the African American Museum in Philadelphia. A dozen girls in the beGirl.world program, which encourages African American girls to travel, were treated to an intimate question and answer session with the former first lady. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Michelle Obama was set to appear at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia on Thursday night for what’s billed as “an intimate conversation” about her new book, Becoming.

She came into town early to sit down with a dozen African American high school girls and talk with them about having the confidence to do new things outside their comfort zones, such as travel or attending college.

The students were from the citywide extracurricular group beGirl.world, which encourages teens to seek opportunities to travel and study abroad. They assembled at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, seated in a small circle, believing they were going to talk with Michelle Obama’s interviewer, comedian Phoebe Robinson.

Each had a copy of Becoming and a ticket to the evening event.

When Obama arrived, the surprise caused a roar of excitement and a few tears. Hugs went all around.

After they settled — and introduced themselves one by one to the former first lady — the girls asked her informal questions, mostly about self-confidence, overcoming fear, and striving beyond their circumstances.

Read more at WHYY

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