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July 24, 2009 6:37 PM

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Second Act

Jenna Bush With all the talk of Malia and Sasha Obama, it's easy to forget that less than a year ago there was another pair of Presidential daughters in the spotlight. But on Thursday, Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush...

Jenna Bush

With all the talk of Malia and Sasha Obama, it's easy to forget that less than a year ago there was another pair of Presidential daughters in the spotlight. But on Thursday, Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager did their best to draw attention to UNICEF and its Project Sprinkles effort, which helps fight malnutrition among children in Guatemala. While her peers mingled
around the bar at The Gates, a newly brunette (and, it appears, newly poised) Jenna Bush spoke with WWD about why this charity is close to her heart and how she and sister Barbara don't see as much of their parents these days as they'd like.

WWD: How did you decide to support UNICEF?
Jenna Bush: I worked in the field with UNICEF in Latin America for a year. I wanted to find a way to still keep engaged even though I don't still live in the developing world, and there weren't many ways for my generation to be involved. [Now] we have 30 really dynamic people on UNICEF's Next Generation, this new committee, who are really interested in making visible
change. So it's fun to be with such an energetic group that has so many
different ideas on how to improve the world.
 
WWD:: Why Guatemala?
J.B.: Guatemala has the worst malnutrition rates in Latin America, and one of the worst in the world. It seems like such an easy problem to fix, but it's really not. [Project] Sprinkles is fantastic because it's so cheap and effective. A kid can put [the sprinkles, which is a packet of powdered vitamins] on something, an unfortified tortilla, and it provides them with all the nutrients they need for a day.
 




WWD: And so do you go down there often?
J.B.: I haven't been to Guatemala, but we're going as soon as we reach our goal.
 
WWD: Have you always been interested in philanthropy?
J.B.: I've always been interested in kids. I'm a teacher, so kids interest me and being an educator, education interests me.
 
WWD: Are you comfortable being a sort of spokesman for UNICEF's Next Generation?
J.B.: Uh, yeah, I'm comfortable. I mean, it's easy for me to talk about things I'm passionate about. Also, it's more of a joint effort, obviously, all 30 of us are working together as a team, so I don't think of myself sort of as the chair person.
 
WWD: So are you still teaching now?
J.B.: Yeah, I'm teaching sixth grade English language and arts in inner city Baltimore.
 
WWD: Do you see more of your parents now that they're out of Washington?
J.B.: Sadly no, because my sister and I are both on the East Coast.
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