Blog: Malala, a hero for young people

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Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize when she shared it with Kailash Satyarthi of India on Friday, Oct. 10. If you don’t know who she is, you should. When she was 15 years old, she was shot three times by the Taliban, the oppressive Islamic military group. She was going to school, something the Taliban had banned for young girls in her home country of Pakistan at the time.

She survived and went on to advocate for women and education, creating a global movement. She created many opportunities for girls everywhere, including in the Middle East. She was named on of Time’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” and is on its “The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014.”

As a junior in high school, life can feel pretty stressful. Even before this year I remember sitting at home, never wanting to go to school. I always felt that I had learned all I needed to. Maybe I even wanted to sleep.

In the U.S., it can be easy to take education for granted. Until one turns 16, you are required to go to school. I don’t think I realized how lucky I was to be given the opportunity. By not going to school or wishing I could drop out, I am undermining the work of advocators like Malala who has made it possible for many girls in third world countries to go to school.

So next time you wish you could drop out, or think that the subject you are studying is especially unnecessary, think about the kids in less fortunate countries who don’t have the same opportunities. School is a privilege, not a chore and should be treated as such.

If you have the time, check out this amazing interview where Malala leaves Jon Stewart speechless.

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