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Yara Shahidi and Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Wrote a Letter of Recommendation for This Iranian-American Actress


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It's normal for teens applying to college to ask teachers and mentors to write them letters of recommendation when applying to college. It's not quite as normal to ask the former First Lady of the United States. That's exactly what Iranian-American actress Yara Shahidi did, though, when applying to university this year.

Shahidi and Obama first met at Glamour's "International Day of the Girl" event, and Shahidi
regards Obama as a supporter. But their shared interest in activism and women's empowerment isn't the only reason the 17-year-old actress looked to Ms. Obama when she needed a letter of recommendation: her dream school is Harvard, and both Mr. and Ms. Obama are alumnae of the university. Harvard's a family affair for the Obamas-- their oldest daughter, Malia, will be attending the school in the fall. She's currently taking a gap year.

If she's accepted to the Ivy League school, Shahidi plans on taking a gap year as well: "I feel like what's interesting is I know so many people that are deferring. It's more than to just roam around or just sit down and stare at a wall, but it will also give me an opportunity to work," Shahidi told People.

"I've been working more than half of my life and that's always been balanced with school and all of the other responsibilities, so to have a year to focus on work and to focus on specified interests will be nice before I pick a career and choose what I want to study and my life path."

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