Malala Yousafzai inspires learning

The 17-year-old female activist from Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai, made history as the youngest individual to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She received the prestigious award alongside Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Friday, October 10. The Norwegian Nobel Comittee recognized both activists for their efforts in fighting for the younger generation’s rights, including the right to education.
Malala was in chemistry class at Edgbaston High School for Girls in her current residence of Birmingham, England, when a teacher pulled her out to tell her the news, according to The New York Times. 

During a press conference in Birmingham, October 10Malala expressed her astonishment and gratitude for the award.
“I’m proud that I’m the first Pakistani and the first young woman or the first young person getting this award. This is a great honor for me,”  Malala said, according to CNN.

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, expressed her gratitude at a press conference in Birmingham, England October 10. Courtesy of The New York Times
Malala Yousafzai, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, expressed her gratitude at a press conference in Birmingham, England October 10.
Courtesy of The New York Times

Although she is honored to receive the prize, many challenging obstacles plagued Malala in her journey to fight for women’s education. 

In 2012, the Taliban, a terrorist group currently occupying Afghanistan, shot Malala in the head for campaigning for girls’ education by pursuing her right to attend school. 

The young catalyst for change was in critical condition, but miraculously made a full recovery. Despite her scare, she continued to stay focused and committed to her mission, according to CNN.

Not only was Malala awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but she was also listed in TIME magazine’s 25 most influential teens of 2014 for her continuous efforts to prevent discrimination against young women in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.
For the Convent of the Sacred Heart community, Malala serves as an inspiration to join in the non-violent pursuit of children’s education.

“Her efforts should inspire the CSH community to pursue worthy goals in the face of great adversity,” Upper School history teacher Mrs. Anne De Sutter said. “Malala comes from a cultural tradition that does not value women in general and does not see the value of educating them in particular.  For Malala to stand up, risk her life, and continue to press for her cause should be an inspiration to our community.”

Senior Mary Grace Henry, who won the World of Children Award for her work in creating her own company, Reverse the Course, also expressed gratitude for Malala’s actions.

“Malala’s speeches about girls education have raised a lot of awareness about the issue and Reverse The Course has received even more support from a wider range of people. By speaking so eloquently about it, Malala has helped my mission grow beyond the people I can reach,” Mary Grace said.

Malala continues her mission by spreading awareness and refusing to let her age impede her goals. 
In June she published her autobiography, I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, which highlights the struggles she faced while advocating for human rights and universal education.

“Malala’s book was inspiring and made me feel like I can overcome any hardship that may come my way,” sophomore Thea Dowrich said. “Reading about her struggles and challenges to work against the suppression of education has made me reflect on the injustice young women are facing. She has prompted me to join in her mission.”

Furthermore, the young advocate’s organization, The Malala Fund, works to end poverty by granting girls the opportunity to receive an education, according to

While acknowledging her award in a press conference, Malala stated that the prize will only fuel further efforts to combat injustice.

“I felt more powerful and more courageous because this award is not just a piece of metal or a medal you wear or an award you keep in your room. This is encouragement for me to go forward,” Malala said, according to
Malala and Mr. Satyarthi will receive their awards December 10 at the the annual Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Olso, Norway, according to