This teen activist will motivate you to make a difference in the world. Malala Yousafzai nabbed the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Friday, making her the youngest recipient of the coveted award. The 17-year-old shared the prize with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. Yousafzai has been advocating for Pakistani women and children since the age of 11, when she documented in a BBC blog life in the Swat Valley under Taliban rule during a time when girls in the region were prohibited from going to school. A Taliban gunman shot Yousafzai in the face in October 2012 for her views on female education. She narrowly survived the ordeal and received intensive care in England. Last year, she spoke at the UN headquarters–demanding worldwide access to education–and also published her first book: I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, in collaboration with British journalist Christina Lamb. In honor of Yousafzai’s commitment to international education for women and children, here are five quotes to inspire you to go out and make a change in the world today:
- “One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen, can change the world.” –From a speech given to the UN Youth Assembly, just nine months after her attempted assassination.
- “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” –From a speech at Harvard in September 2013.
- “Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.” ––From a speech at Harvard in September 2013.
- “I believe it’s a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear and if a woman can go to the beach and wear nothing, then why can’t she also wear everything?” –From an exclusive interview with The Guardian’s Kamila Shamsie. Yousafzai opened up about her thoughts regarding the burqa conversation in the UK.
- “If he [the Talib] comes, what would you do Malala? …If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there will be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others…with cruelty…you must fight others but through peace, through dialogue and through education…then I’ll tell him [the Talib] how important education is and that I even want education for your children as well… that’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.” –In a Daily Show interview. Yousafzai’s comments left Jon Stewart speechless, and prompted him to ask if he could adopt her.