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Nigel Barker’s Message to Girls

Nigel Barker, fashion photographer and former judge on America’s Next Top Model, writes an open letter on the power of girls and the value of educationNIGEL-BARKER

My 3-year-old daughter, Jasmine, amazes me every day. In all of my travels around the world as a fashion photographer, I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than watching her grow up. She loves going to school and dreams of becoming a doctor and a ballerina — there are no limits to what she can become!

As a father, it pains me that not every girl has the same chance as Jasmine to get an education and pursue her dreams.

Today, girls make up more than half of the140 million children and adolescents who don’t attend school, and in many countries, more than half the girls drop out before they get to the sixth grade. Instead of getting an education, they are often forced to marry as children and carry the burden of household chores.

This predicament is devastating for millions of girls who deserve better. It’s also devastating for our world because educating girls is one of the most important steps we can take to end poverty. When a girl is educated, she is likely to earn more money to support her family, to promote economic growth in her country, and to have a healthier home life.

The good news is: We can make a difference.

Read the full letter here

This is a part of an open letter series to promote Girl Rising’s CNN premiere on June 16th.

Learn more about the film here

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