Exclusive

04.02.14

Women in the World Summit Features Harlem Student's Interview with First Lady

Teenager Nene Sy's interview with Michelle Obama will be shown at the Women in the World Summit April 5. Watch live on The Daily Beast.

Women in the World is featuring a remarkable 18-year-old schoolgirl from Harlem who will interview First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. Nene Sy, a senior at the Young Women’s Leadership School, will meet with Mrs. Obama Wednesday morning. Nene will then show a video of her interview with Mrs. Obama onstage during the final morning of Women in the World, Saturday, April 5th, at Lincoln Center.

Nene, who will soon become the first in her family to attend college, turned a family tragedy into inspiration. When she was 11, Nene's mother delivered twins prematurely. Both twins eventually died, but Nene says the time she spent in the hospital watching doctors try to save the babies and help her family inspired her to become a surgeon. Nene, whose favorite subjects are math and science, is headed to Gettysburg College on a full scholarship next fall, and plans to undertake pre-med studies. Both her parents are from Mali; her father is a taxi driver.

“We are so thrilled to accompany Nene to the White House for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet with the First Lady," Tina Brown, founder of the Women in the World Summit said. "Nene’s story highlights the importance of education and her perseverance will be a true inspiration to the thousands of young women watching both in the theater and on LiveStream."

The First Lady has made education one of her top priorities. On her recent tour of China, Mrs. Obama emphasized that the issue of education is a personal one. Along with her brother, the First Lady was the first in her family to attend college. She has said she wouldn’t be where she was without her parents “investing and pushing me to get a good education."

Nene will be joined on stage at Women in the World by Ann Tisch, founder and president of the Young Women's Leadership Network of schools. Legendary ABC News Correspondent Barbara Walters will moderate and interview Nene about her experience at the White House.

Other confirmed participants for this year’s Women in the World Summit include: Hillary Clinton, Christine Lagarde, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Jon Stewart, Rashida Jones, Laurene Powell Jobs, Pussy Riot, Diane von Furstenberg, Meryl Streep, Mellody Hobson, President Jimmy Carter, Angélique Kidjo, Anne Finucane, Sarah Silverman and many more.

The fifth annual Women in the World Summit runs April 3rd – 5th at Lincoln Center. Tickets are sold out, but you can watch the entire live event free on The Daily Beast.