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Michelle Obama, in Japan, Recalls Chicago Childhood Discouragement

By DNAinfo Staff | March 19, 2015 8:53am
 Michell Obama as a senior at Whitney Young High School in 1981.
Michell Obama as a senior at Whitney Young High School in 1981.
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CHICAGO — Michelle Obama referenced her childhood in Chicago during a speech in Japan Thursday, returning to a theme that there were some people here who discouraged her.

Speaking to a group of female high school and college students in Tokyo, Obama said she often tells people of her challenges growing up in Chicago.

"One of the reasons I share my story so much [is] because I want young girls around the world not to see me as the First Lady of the United States, but I want them to know that I was a young girl in Chicago that had doubts and fears and worries, and people who told me I couldn't," Obama said.

"But with hard work and that investment in education, look where were are," she said, telling the young women "we have the opportunity to change the world."

In a 2013 speech in Chicago, Obama, told a Washington group that as a student at Whitney Young Magnet School on the Near West Side that some teachers told her "I was setting my sights too high."

"They told me I was never going to get into a school like Princeton. I still hear that doubt ringing in my head," said Obama, who graduated from Whitney Young, 211 S. Laflin St., in 1981.

Obama, then known as Michelle Robinson, grew up in South Shore and also attended the former Bryn Mawr School, then at 7355 S. Jeffery Blvd.

Obama's Thursday remarks came during an appearance to promote "Let Girls Learn," an initiative that supports education for women around the world.

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