Donald Trump’s administration is reportedly discontinuing Michelle Obama’s signature education initiative.
Let Girls Learn was started in 2015 by former First Lady Michelle Obama with the objective to provide educational opportunities to 62 million adolescent girls in developing countries.
Partnering with the Peace Corps and the United States Agency for International Development, Let Girls Learn’s initiatives included leadership camps, mentorship programs, and school libraries.
“Moving forward, we will not continue to use the ‘Let Girls Learn’ brand or maintain a stand-alone program,” read an email sent to Peace Corps employees this week by the agency’s acting director Sheila Crowley, according to CNN, which noted that “aspects of the initiative’s programming will continue.”
Educating young women was a top priority for Obama. “It’s our responsibility to address this crisis as women, business leaders, and citizens of this country and world,” she said at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C. in 2015.
In a CNN op-ed last fall, the former First Lady said the issue was “personal” for her. “Neither of my parents and hardly anyone in the neighborhood where I grew up went to college,” she wrote. “But thanks to a lot of hard work and plenty of financial aid, I had the opportunity to attend some of the finest universities in this country. That education opened so many doors and gave me the confidence to pursue my ambitions and have a voice in the world. For me, education was power.”
Last October, The White House announced $5 million in private sector commitments toward Let Girls Learn programs, bringing the total financial pledges to girls education to more than $1 billion for programs in 50 countries.
CNN reports that the Trump administration is also expected to announce changes to Obama’s other signature initiative: healthy school lunches. As of now, it is unclear what those changes will be.
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