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

Sixth formers from the school speak of their “inspirational” time with the world-renowned women

In December, students from John Willmott School travelled to London to meet two globally famous female role models.

At the Southbank Centre, they attended Becoming: An Evening with Michelle Obama. Thanks to links with Penguin publishing house, the school had been given 20 tickets from the 200 which Obama had allocated to students from across the UK. She seated all students in the front few rows to ensure that they had the best experience. Each left the venue with a copy of her book, Becoming, to read on the train journey home.

Obama’s talk invited the audience into her world, chronicling the experiences that shaped her – from childhood in Chicago to her years as an executive, and from balancing the demands of motherhood and work to time spent at the White House as First Lady of the United States.

Michelle Obama seated all students in the front few rows to ensure that they had the best experience

Before arriving at the Southbank Centre, the students attended the offices of Cherie Blair CBE QC. She spent over an hour with them, talking about 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 US. Each student received a personally signed book.

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 Books and the office of Cherie Blair for helping us arrange such an unforgettable day.”