11 January 2019

“Life-changing” day – John Willmott students meet Michelle Obama and Cherie Blair

Lucky sixth formers from John Willmott School have spoken of their “inspirational” meetings with two of the world’s most powerful women, Michelle Obama and Cherie Blair.

The students travelled to London in December for two special events.They were privileged to be invited to the Southbank Centre for ‘Becoming: An Evening with Michelle Obama’. This was as a result of the school’s ongoing links with Penguin publishing house.

The school was given 20 tickets from the 200 which Mrs Obama had allocated to students from across the UK. Mrs Obama had seated all students in the front few rows to ensure that they had the best experience. Every student left the venue with a copy of her book ‘Becoming’ to read on the train journey home.

Reflecting on her memoir, Michelle Obama invited the audience into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her – from her childhood in Chicago to her years as an executive, balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address as First Lady of the USA.

Cherie Blair

Before the students arrived at the Southbank Centre they first attended the offices of Cherie Blair CBE, QC. Mrs Blair spent over an hour with the students describing her early life, meeting Tony Blair and her career. The students were then able to interview her about a range of subjects including equality in terms of sex and class, meeting famous people, her continuing law career and the differences between being a first lady of the UK and the USA.

Each student received a personally signed book from Mrs Blair as a memento of a very special day.

After a very long day students returned to Birmingham in the early hours the following morning exhausted but excited.

Headteacher Tracey Peters said:

The students described the day as ‘inspiring’ and ‘life changing’. They had a unique opportunity to speak with and hear two strong female role models in one very long day. We are very grateful to both Penguin Publishing and the office of Cherie Blair for helping us arrange such an unforgettable day.”