Education made this possible. 

Ancelma was born in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, where 95% of students never graduate from high school. Through Cooperative for Education’s programs, Ancelma beat these odds, earned her diploma, and broke the cycle of poverty in her family.

So when the Girls Opportunity Alliance invited us to send a representative to the Obama Summit this year, we immediately knew who to call.

Ancelma sat down with us for an interview after her time at the Obama Summit. Read on to see what she had to say about this incredible experience.

1.) What did you do during your time at the Obama Summit?

We spent some time in meetings getting to know other people from different countries. I also went with Rony (CoEd’s General Director for Guatemala Operations) to see some places in Chicago. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience. On the tour around Chicago, we got to see places like the house where Mrs. Obama was raised and some other important places.

2.) What was it like meeting and spending time with former first lady Michelle Obama?

It was definitely something extraordinary. I never thought I would have such an opportunity. Michelle Obama is so inspiring. She expresses herself like nobody else does. Her words are very powerful. I am sure whoever listens to her is impacted somehow and even a little changed for the better.

3.) What was your favorite memory from the Obama Summit?

My favorite memory was the round table we had with former first lady Michelle Obama and also the speech she delivered during the Summit.

4.) How did the Rise Program help you get to where you are today?

Well, I always say that the Rise Program was the base of my education and impacted my personal life in positive ways. It allowed me to develop and become a professional. The Rise Program helped me become a better person. Without the Rise Program, I might not have had all the opportunities that I have now.

5.) If you could describe your experience at the Obama Summit in one word, what word would you choose? Why?

Exciting. I chose this word because it was my first time traveling alone. On top of that, I knew that it was a great time to practice my English. It was exciting for me to meet former first lady Michelle Obama. I will remember things like that for the rest of my life.

Ancelma attending the Obama Summit and getting to meet and hold hands with former first lady Michelle Obama speaks not only to the power of educating girls, but listening to what they have to say. It is truly incredible to see young women rise up out of poverty and positively impact the lives of people all around the world.

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