Students from the University and local secondary schools were able to meet with Hillary Clinton moments before she took to the stage at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Tickets sold out in less than an hour, but as official sponsors of the event the University was able to offer a meet and greet with the former Presidential Candidate for eight journalism students and nine local secondary school pupils. The group revealed that Clinton was delighted to see so many females backstage, thanked them for choosing to study journalism and said “We need good journalists to report the truth”.
Jade Padam, a third year student at the University, was the only audience member allowed to ask Clinton a direct question: “How can we encourage more young women to get into positions of power where they can change the world for all women?” Hillary Clinton replied “Well Jade, I hope you’re one of them” and spoke in detail about building confidence in females from a young age.
Jade Padam, third year journalism student at the University of Gloucestershire said:
“There was an amazing atmosphere at the Centaur- you could tell everyone was excited to see Clinton for themselves! It was surreal to even be in the same room as Hillary Clinton, let alone ask her a question. She was very friendly during our meeting and it was an incredible opportunity that I couldn’t have even imagined having. Today was a day to remember!”
Hayley Shinners, a student from Dene Magna Secondary School, said:
"I originally didn’t know too much about American politics, but one of the great things about this experience is that I’ve been able to do more research and it made me realise what an honour this day would be. When we went backstage to meet Hillary I was both incredibly nervous and excited to see her, but she was very lovely and said she was happy to see so many girls here. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and I just can’t believe we were given such an amazing opportunity.”
The former US Secretary of State was this year’s headline act at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, where she was promoting her new book, What Happened. The interview explored the details in the book, from the 2016 election campaign and the personal aftermath that followed. Host Mariella Frostrup questioned Clinton about her feminist views, Donald Trump’s inauguration and the pair discussed what her immediate emotions were after she lost the election. At the end of the event Clinton received a standing ovation.
The talk was streamed live from the Cheltenham Festival’s Facebook page and is now available to watch back on their YouTube Channel.