“It feels good to know that somebody of her stature wants to come to speak to us,” said Amanda Smith, pictured taking a selfie with Harvard President Drew Faust.

Photos by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Campus & Community

Faust tells Philadelphia high school girls: ‘You can do anything’

2 min read

PHILADELPHIA — Harvard President Drew Faust joined students at Philadelphia High School for Girls last week to discuss the importance of higher education and to urge the young women to pursue their dreams. “You can do anything,” Faust told students.

Faust’s visit to Girls’ High was the latest in a series of school conversations she has had. In addition to overseas meetings with students in South Africa, Japan, and South Korea, Faust has visited schools in Dallas, Miami, and Cincinnati in recent years. At each stop, she helps students imagine themselves in higher education and beyond. “Your ideas matter,” Faust told students in Philadelphia. “Your work is important, and you have something unique to give to the world.”

Girls’ High junior Amanda Smith told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she thought inner-city schools often went unrecognized by leading universities, but that Faust’s trip had changed her perspective. “It feels good to know that somebody of her stature wants to come to speak to us,” Smith told the Inquirer.

Je La Boulden (from left), Abria Gaines, and Teyanna Haughton greet Faust as she arrives at the school.

Sa’Nia Yates (left in green) and Salematou Diallo listen to Faust speak. “Your ideas matter,” the Harvard president said.