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Michelle Obama: Girls, don’t hold back in school

Actress Charlize Theron, left, applauds first lady Michelle Obama during a panel discussion entitled The Power of an Educated Girl at the Apollo Theater, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Actress Charlize Theron, left, applauds first lady Michelle Obama during a panel discussion entitled The Power of an Educated Girl at the Apollo Theater, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama has some advice for teenage girls: Don’t shy away from being the smartest kid in the class. And never mind what the boys think.

She told about 1,000 schoolgirls and young women at an event in New York on Tuesday to “compete with the boys” and do better than them.

The Glamour magazine-sponsored discussion publicized her “Let Girls Learn” campaign to expand girls’ access to education in developing countries and encourage American girls to take advantage of their opportunities.

Let Girls Learn involves hundreds of grassroots projects aimed at countering economic or cultural pressures that spur many girls to drop out of schools in the developing world.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has said 62 million girls worldwide are not in school.

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