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Michelle Obama, Charlize Theron, Julia Gillard and Nurfahada Chat Education and Girl Power

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Sep. 30 2015, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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My mother says I was born a writer but I can distinctly remember a time when math and science were my favorite subjects.

Unfortunately, I can also remember the exact moment I decided math was too hard for me to be good at it. Instead of accepting the challenge to work harder and without the encouragement I needed to succeed, I simply gave up.

Fast forward to the present, I am a proud graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and yes, as it turns out my mother was right — I am a writer. But in school, I learned that I’m a pretty decent mathematician, a scientist and anything else I want to be if only I put my mind to it. #62MillionGirls don’t have that chance.

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On Thursday, Oct. 1, at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City, First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Plan International girl advocate Nurfahada, and actress Charlize Theron teamed up with Glamour Magazine for a special panel discussion “The Power of an Educated Girl.” More than 1,000 school-aged girls were invited to listen, ask questions and participate in a powerful conversation about girls and education.

According to Let Girls Learn, an initiative developed by the U.S. Government and the Peace Corps:

The girls attending yesterday’s event are not among the #62MillionGirls. However, those girls are vital to the survival of this conversation. We need to rally a sisterhood of girls, supported by women and men everywhere, and empower, inspire and equip them with the tools they need to advocate and fight for other girls across the world. 

Watch “The Power of an Educated Girl” here.

Social media is packed with tons of tweets from the event tagged #GlamourForEdu. Here are our favorite moments! 

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NYC’s @ApolloTheater is filled with young women who are raising their voice for the #62MillionGirls not in school. pic.twitter.com/lkhJq902hn

— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) September 29, 2015

THESE are AMAZING young women! 100+ GR Ambassadors & friends of Girl Rising joined @ #GlamourForEdu! #62MillionGirls pic.twitter.com/Fh9hHh3ZzY — Girl Rising (@girlrising) September 29, 2015

“Women are strong. We run the show! Beyoncé told us that.” @SophiaBush #GlamourForEdu Today was amazing with all your quotes..

— Carol-Anne Jean (@carojean23) September 29, 2015

“You are worth it. You are valued. Aim big and dream big!” —@CharlizeAfrica at #GlamourForEdu. — The First Lady (@FLOTUS) September 29, 2015

We need more men like Malala’s father to stand up & say we must educate our girls.” – @JuliaGillard at #GlamourForEdu. #withMalala

— Participant Media (@Participant) September 29, 2015

“If I had worried about who liked me, who thought I was cute at your age, I wouldn’t be married to the President.” –@FLOTUS #glamourforedu — Glamour (@glamourmag) September 29, 2015

“The most valuable part of you is your brain… Be the smartest girl in the room and be proud of it.” @SophiaBush #GlamourForEdu

— Girls Inc. (@girls_inc) September 29, 2015

Don’t forget to add your photo to the #62MillionGirls Yearbook by uploading a photo of yourself to Twitter or Instagram with the caption “In school, I learned ________ #62MillionGirls don’t have that chance.”

In school I learned to apply cultural&historical context.#62MillionGirls dont have that chance http://t.co/aI43hQ38xs pic.twitter.com/YV9NsCoxUP

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) September 27, 2015

‘In school I learned education is the way to protect your future. #62milliongirls don’t have the chance.’ – Nurfahada pic.twitter.com/EiCFTiHde2

— Plan International (@PlanGlobal) September 29, 2015

In school we learned to use our voices to make a difference, #62MillionGirls don’t have that chance pic.twitter.com/JT3vqOQn2e — Girls United (@jmhsgirlsunited) September 29, 2015

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