A CHAT with Nobel Prize Recipient, Malala Yousafzai
When Malala Yousafzai came to Kansas City in July, she delivered a CHAT of a lifetime to our Girl Scouts in the audience. As the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate and activist for human rights and female education, Malala inspired us all that night at the Chat Series 2.0.
If you’re not familiar with Malala’s story, take the time to learn more about her, she’ll inspire you too.
From the age of 10, Malala was advocating for girls’ right to education in Pakistan when the Taliban was banning them from attending school. At the age 12, while traveling home from school, Malala was shot by the Taliban. She was transported to Birmingham, United Kingdom where she received treatment and made a remarkable recovery. Just a year later she was able to return to school in the UK and has been speaking out on behalf of girls and children everywhere for worldwide access to education.
To say her resume is impressive is an understatement. It includes multiple Nobel Prizes, Anne Frank Award for Courage, Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice, 2012 Person of the Year shortlist, Clinton Global Citizen Award, 2013 Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year, Honorary Doctor of Civil Law at King’s College and the list goes on – about 43 awards and accolades in the past four years, roughly.
Malala was also the subject of the documentary He Named Me Malala and the author of “I Am Malala.” Both of which also had their fair share of recognitions and awards.
During her address at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on July 19, Malala spoke eloquently and candidly. The beauty of the series in which she spokes is that the audience has the opportunity to ask questions on the spot.
One Girl Scout got up and very bravely and simply asked “does anything still scare you?” Malala’s response – “balloons… and dogs.”
Malala’s casual demeanor impressed Girl Scout Ambassador Ann Marie Hrdy. “She doesn’t get very nervous to talk to world leaders, but at the same time she is afraid of smaller things!”
For a young woman who has experienced so much in her relatively short life, she is courageous. She isn’t afraid of encountering these things again; she’s a person who has simple fears, just like the rest of us!
Thanks to a generous offer from our friends at Hallmark, Girl Scout Cadette Natalie Martinez got to participate in a youth-only roundtable prior to the Chat and actually meet Malala!
“Having the opportunity to meet Malala was a once of a life time experience. Meting her was exciting and fun, and I learned that no gender is superior.” Natalie explained. “What inspired me about Malala was that she stood up for what she believed in – no girls left behind. We all have the right to go to school.”
Malala had so many inspirational quotes that really resonated with girls and adults alike that evening.
“I raise up my voice not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
“I did not wait for anyone, I said my voice matters.”
“Education is a right, not a privilege.”
“Even death supported my campaign and told me to go back to living.”
“If I am young, that doesn’t mean my voice should be ignored; If I am a woman, that doesn’t mean my voice should be ignored.”
“Politicians ask me if I get nervous. I think they should be nervous.”
“We are all going to work together to make this world the best we can.”
“We share feelings as humans– this is something that connects us. We need to appreciate all we can give each other.”
We were so honored to be a sponsor for this event and bring more than 30 Girl Scouts to this once-in-a-lifetime evening! Let us know which of the above quotes stands out to you in the comments below. Have you seen her documentary or read her book? What inspires YOU about Malala Yousafzai?