Michelle Obama just shared a throwback pic from her school days to stress the importance of a good education.
The former first lady took to Instagram to post the back-to-school pic in honor of the International Day of Charity. In the photo, a young Obama is seen grinning in a plaid print dress.
The photo was paired with an empowering message that any student — especially young girls — can learn from.
"It’s after Labor Day, so I’m thinking about all the young people heading back to school and reflecting on my own days as a student in Chicago," she wrote in the caption. "I learned a lot in school — how to do my multiplication tables and structure a paragraph, yes, but also how to push myself, be a good friend, and dust myself off after a failure."
Obama, 55, shared some staggering statistics that detail the lack of access girls have to education across the globe.
"It’s so easy for us to take our education for granted, especially here in the United States," she wrote. "Right now, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. I believe every girl on the planet deserves the same kind of opportunities that I’ve had — a chance to fulfill her potential and pursue her dreams. We know that when we give girls a chance to learn, they’ll seize it. And when they do, our whole world benefits.
"Girls who go to school have healthier children, higher salaries, lower poverty rates, and they can even help boost their entire nation’s economy," she added.
Obama concluded with a call to action for her followers to share their own back-to-school photo and to join the Girls Opportunity Alliance, a program of the Obama Foundation.
The "Becoming" author is regularly engaging others in the conversation around the development of young female minds, using her own experiences as a daughter and mother to shape them.
The mother of two adult daughters addressed the pressure that kids can feel when it comes to external expectations for their lives.
"As a younger woman, I spent too much time worrying that I wasn’t achieving enough, or I was straying too far from what I thought was the prescribed path,'' she said. "What I hope my daughters will realize a little earlier is that there is no prescribed path, that it’s OK to swerve, and that the confidence they need to recognize that will come with time."
She also thought back to when she was a teen, imagining what her younger self would think of how her life turned out.
"She’d remind me there are still too many girls on the South Side of Chicago who are being shushed, cast aside or told they’re dreaming too big,'' she said. "She’d tell me to keep fighting for them. If I’m being honest, she’d probably smile about how cute my husband is, too."