Eight of our amazing Smart-Girls had the privilege of participating the Denver Post’s “Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow” event featuring global women’s educational advocate and youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai.
The event was held on June 24th at the Bellco Theatere. It was an inspirational evening the girls will never forget, and one of our Youth Advisory Council members was randomly selected to go backstage and meet Malala after her talk. She shared her thoughts about the event below…
“At seventeen, Malala Yousafzai has accomplished a feat that most people will never even come close to in their lifetime. Not many seventeen year olds can say they have spoken at the United Nations or won a Nobel Peace Prize. But the people from all over Denver who braved tornado and flood warnings to fill the Bellco theatre didn’t come to hear her talk about her accomplishments. They came to hear what she had to say. Which is quite a feat in itself.
Malala’s message is inspiring and poignant. Malala speaks about love and caring for your fellow human beings, as well as her main message declaring the importance of education and equal rights. She speaks about having compassion for other people, and not letting all the negativity in the world get you down. She has endless dedication to her cause. The day before flying into Denver she had been in DC meeting with politicians all day, and the day she flew here to speak, she visited a women’s prison before coming for her interview — all while fasting for Ramadan. By the time we got to meet her backstage after her speech, she was understandably exhausted.
Malala runs her foundation while also completing her formal education. Most people struggle with having a part time job and going to school. Her foundation works to empower women through education by trying to work with governments to change policies and make education more accessible, showing girls they should stand up for their education and working to build more schools around the world. It is not just her dedication and her message that make her inspirational, it’s the actions she takes.
Although she has accomplished many phenomenal things, one of the most inspiring things has been that she, a teenager, has filled a theatre with people from all walks of life who want to hear what she has to say. In today’s society that is a huge accomplishment. There are countless teenagers who preach the message of love and acceptance but their voices are not always taken them seriously. Malala has given a voice to many, to the women who aren’t being treated equally, to the children of the world who are not being given an education, to those who are ignored. She has given a voice to people who feel like they don’t have one.
Smart-Girls speak the truth. Let’s live Malala’s message in our daily lives and encourage our world to sit up and listen!”