WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, March 30th, First Lady Michelle Obama will host a special event during the annual celebration of Women’s History Month at the White House. Mrs. Obama will bring together more than twenty accomplished women, each paving their way in a variety of fields, to serve as mentors and share their experiences with students in the Washington, D.C. metro area. These women will showcase the important role mentoring can play in the lives of young people as they encourage all students, particularly young women, to pursue their dreams.
Several of the guest mentors are associated with the Lifetime Network, an organization that has been a leader in celebrating women and in fostering mentorship in young girls. In support of the First Lady’s work on mentoring, Lifetime will launch a public outreach program which will include leading subsequent mentoring events across the country and producing a public service announcement campaign on the subject.
The First Lady has spoken frequently about the importance of encouraging and inspiring young people to achieve their full potential. She hosted a similar mentoring event with guest mentors and local high school students in March 2009, followed by similar events in Denver in November 2009 and Detroit in May 2010. She also started a White House leadership and mentoring initiative in November 2009 that paired White House staff as mentors with students at several local high schools. The program includes 20 young women who participate in monthly activities, such as learning about different careers and preparing for college.
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
1:45 PM – The First Lady will visit Ballou High School to meet with a group of students, share her experiences, and encourage them to strive for excellence while pursuing their career goals.
1:45 PM – During their visits to local schools, these guest mentors will give brief presentations on their backgrounds and then participate in a question and answer session with students. The list of women paired with local schools is below along with the appropriate media contact for each school.
7:00 PM – The First Lady will invite the visiting women mentors to reconvene at the White House’s East Room for a dinner and program with 120 additional students from local schools and additional mentors from in and outside government. Performers include Ali Wentworth, Miri Ben-Ari and Anna Deveare Smith.
List of women mentors
· Miri Ben-Ari, Grammy Award winning violinist, recording artist, and philanthropist.
· General Dana Born, Dean of Faculty, United States Air Force Academy.
· Ambassador Nancy Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, and former U.S. Chief of Protocol for President George W. Bush.
· Geena Davis, Oscar award winning actress, producer, writer, philanthropist, and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
· Dominique Dawes, Olympic gold medalist, motivational speaker, gymnastics coach, media analyst, and co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.
· Judith Jamison, award-winning dancer, choreographer, author, and Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
· Michelle Kwan, world renowned figure skater, Public Diplomacy Ambassador, and member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.
· Nina Lederman, Senior Vice-President of Series Programming and Development for Lifetime Networks.
· Ledisi, Grammy nominated recording artist, songwriter, and record producer.
· Lisa Leslie, Olympic Gold medalist and former WNBA professional basketball player.
· Vanessa Minnillo, actress, model, television host, and former Miss Teen USA.
· Ellen Ochoa, astronaut, engineer, and current Deputy Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
· Abbe Raven, President and CEO of A&E Television Networks.
· Tracee Ellis Ross, award-winning actress, producer, model, and philanthropist.
· Anna Deavere Smith, award-winning playwright, actress, and professor of Performance Studies at New York University.
· Hilary Swank, Two-time Academy Award Winning actress.
· Kerry Washington, award winning actress, philanthropist, and member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
· Ali Wentworth, comedienne, actress, correspondent, and author.
· Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Sesame Workshop.
· Alfre Woodard, award winning, film, stage, and television actress, and founder of Artists for a New South Africa.