Ten talented Islington school children were entertained at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama as part of an inspirational trip funded by the US Embassy in London.
The visit was part of a tour of Washington for the winners of a Black History Month essay competition, run in cooperation with the US Embassy.
A panel of judges, including the US Embassy’s cultural attaché, selected one winner from each of the 10 comprehensive schools in Islington.
Among the winners was Nanah Davies, who attends the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, where Mrs Obama delivered an emotional speech during a visit to London last April.
“After the winners were chosen, we contacted the First Lady’s office to explore the idea of them visiting the White House,” explained Mr Maynard. “Her staff told us that the visit of the First Lady to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School last year had been a great experience and she offered to meet the students.”
Mrs Obama told the 14 to 18-year-olds they had shown they were not afraid of the hard work that would take them somewhere in life.
Air fares, hotels, meals and local travel in Washington were provided by a grant from the Embassy totalling £13,700.
Mr Maynard said the US Embassy planned to continue its relationship with Islington Schools. “The message that these students bring home, one of a personal, authentic American experience will resonate with their peer group,” he said.
First Lady Michelle Obama with the essay winners