From: Paul Conner [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2015 3:47 PM
To: Velz, Peter; Allen, Jessica
Subject: In-town pool 3: Let Girls Learn event
The Let Girls Learn event started a couple minutes before 3 p.m. and was livestreamed on whitehouse.gov, so I'll leave the substance to you.
Peace Corps volunteer Charlene Espinoza introduced POTUS and FLOTUS, who entered the East Room at 3:02 p.m. The spectators filling the room gave the pair a standing ovation.
Ambassador Susan Rice and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett sat in the first row.
POTUS spoke for 8 minutes, mentioning Reps. Kay Granger and Nita Lowey, who were both recalled to the Capitol to vote on the Homeland Security funding bill before the beginning of the event. He then introduced his wife with a kiss on her cheek, and the first lady received another standing O.
She spoke about efforts to spur education of teen girls around the world via the Peace Corps. She wrapped up remarks at 3:22, when she received yet another standing O from the gathered spectators. White House photographer Pete Souza snapped photos from the opposite side of the hall as the press.
As pool exited, the Marine Corps band played jazz in the White House lobby, which was apparently set up to host a reception for the East Room guests.
Below is background from a White House official:
On Background from a White House Official:
Today, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will address nearly 150 leaders in international girls ‘education to announce a new whole-of-government Let Girls Learn initiative. This effort will build on investments we have made and successes we have achieved in global primary school education and expand them to help adolescent girls complete their education.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be introduced today by a Returned Peace Corps volunteer, Charlene Espinoza.
Charlene, who grew up in Southern California and Mexico, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, working as an English teacher in a secondary school. She was inspired to do something about the high dropout rate amongst female students and partnered with a fellow teacher to start an after school Girls Club to address the issues in young Liberian women's lives. After learning the girls needed funding for school fees and other necessities, Charlene and her colleague transformed the club into a revenue-generating business for the young Liberians.
They started small, using scraps of local fabric to sew patchwork handbags, naming their project Bosh Bosh, which in Liberian English is used to describe the patchwork aesthetic they cultivated. The bags were successful and as they began to make a profit, the girls reinvested in their community, covering school fees for themselves and their siblings and building a latrine at their high school. Their business continued to grow, and today, even the President of Liberia is the proud owner of a Bosh Bosh creation.
As a registered local NGO, Bosh Bosh now has 15 production, management, sales and education employees who receive competitive salaries and benefits and 20 female scholars who receive full scholarships to remain in school in addition to after‐school education, vocational training, tutoring/advising, computer classes, and other programs to aid in their personal, scholastic and professional development.
The club Charlene started with her fellow teacher has been so embraced by the community that it continues to thrive today. Now that she's back in the U.S., Charlene still advises and supports the Bosh Bosh girls, who have carried on their work even in the face of the Ebola outbreak.
Charlene and her extraordinary group of young women entrepreneurs demonstrate the power of a Peace Corps Volunteer to change lives and make a sustainable, long-term difference in a community. Because Charlene worked at the grassroots level, identifying local barriers to girls education and developing solutions that worked in her community of service, she kept a village of young women in school. Let Girls Learn will increase the impact of Peace Corps Volunteers like Charlene all over the world.
Other Program Participants Include:
· Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President
· Rep. Kay Granger, Chair House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
· Ambassador Susan Rice, National Security Advisor
The Daily Caller