Michelle Obama to Mentor Young Girls

The chosen girls will visit the offices of their mentors and participate in group events

By Andrew Greiner
|  Monday, Nov 2, 2009  |  Updated 11:00 AM CDT
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U.S. first lady Michelle Obama waves as she arrives at the Royal Palace in Copenhagen for a meeting with Denmark's Queen Margrethe Thursday Oct. 1, 2009. Michelle Obama has joined the Chicago 2016 bid team who are competing with Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio de Janeiro for the right to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The IOC will choose the winning city in a vote on Friday, Oct. 2, in Copenhagen. (AP Photo/Tariq Mikkel Khan) ** DENMARK OUT **

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It's all about the connect.

Twenty D.C.-area high school girls will discover just how far the right connections can take them as Michelle Obama and top White House staffers -- all female, and all from Chicago-- begin a first-ever first lady career mentoring program, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The hands-on program includes White House Senior Adviser Jarrett, Social Secretary Rogers, head of public liaisons Tina Tchen and first lady’s chief of staff Susan Sher and Obama.

"This is not just a nice lecture or community gathering," said Letitia Baldridge, a former top aide to Jacqueline Kennedy. "Mentoring for their careers, gosh, that's a big commitment."

The female mentees come from area high schools, the Girl Scouts and military families, including Gold Star families who have lost a loved one, said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, the first lady's spokeswoman, to the Tribune.

The chosen girls will visit the offices of their mentors and participate in group events. They’ll likely gain instruction on everything from career planning to college admissions to balancing work and motherhood.

The mentoring program dovetails nicely with Michelle Obama’s mission to set an example for America’s youth. Earlier this year she invited school children to the White House to help her plant a garden and she’s also hosted music events at the presidential mansion and promoted healthy eating on Sesame Street.

A similar program for young men is in the works. No word if that wing of the mentoring program will feature all Chicagoans, but they could do worse than Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, and Barack Obama.
 

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