Michelle Obama promotes girls education in Vietnam school

LONG AN, Vietnam (AP) — Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama spoke to students at a school in southern Vietnam while promoting education for girls to help reach their full potential.

Obama, accompanied by actresses Julia Roberts and Lana Condor and “Today Show" co-host Jenna Bush Hager, met on Monday with girls at a high school in Long An province by the Mekong delta, where they listened to the students talk about their schoolwork and challenges.

“We are gonna shine a light on you and the work that’s going on here ... so that there are people around the world, who understand that when you educate a girl, you’ll give them power and a voice and an opportunity to improve their lives and the lives of their families and the lives of their communities,” Obama said.

The visitors also joined the students in a life-skills training session where the girls practiced perseverance, critical thinking and negotiating and leadership skills that could ensure the girls are able to advocate for themselves in and out of their classrooms.

Michelle Obama started to work on promoting girls education while her husband was president. She continues the charitable work through the Obama Foundation, with Girls Opportunity Alliance as one of its initiatives.

Last week, she announced that she would donate $500,000 from the sale of her book “Becoming,” to the initiative’s fund.

After her visit to Vietnam, Obama and her husband former President Barack Obama, will speak at a meeting for their foundation in Malaysia that’s set to bring together 200 young leaders across the Asia Pacific region. The couple will also visit Singapore.