Classes start at my college this week, and for the first time in four years, I haven’t been running around like a crazy person buying textbooks at a 300% markup and trying to keep track of how many papers the professors assign on the first day of class. Don’t get me wrong, I loved college. I made the best of friends, I learned about myself, I found things I was passionate about.
I’m passionate about all forms of coffee. I’m passionate about living healthfully. I’m passionate about eating cupcakes. And I’m passionate about education for girls. I decided to go to college, and to not (at least at this point) go on to graduate school. But that was MY CHOICE. I made that decision FOR MYSELF. And I believe that every girl should get to do the same, no matter where she lives.
Malala Yousafzai, 18-yr-old Wonder Woman, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and advocate for education for girls is my hero. To recap: Malala grew up in Pakistan and loved going to school. She loved to learn about chemistry and mathematics. She loved school and learning so much that she and a few of her friends continued to attend their local school even after the Taliban told them they needed to stop going to school. On the way home from school one day, Malala’s bus was stopped and some Taliban men came aboard. They shot Malala in the head, and shot her friends as well. Yet somehow, Malala lived. She is thriving, actually. Malala is now an internationally-known spokeswoman for the right of all girls to have an education.
Right now, over 60 million girls around the world are missing out on the education they deserve. Girls who have access to 12 years of education improve the heath and wealth of their communities. Better-educated girls are less likely to marry and have their first babies when they are very young. They are also more likely to have healthier children and less likely to contract HIV/AIDS and malaria.* 12 years of education can alter the cycle of poverty for communities around the world.
The Malala Fund works with partners all over the world in order to help empower girls and amplify their voices, invest in local education leaders and programs, and campaign for resources for education and safe schools for every child. If education for girls is something that you find yourself being passionate about, you can help the cause! Check out Malala.org for ways to donate or for more information about Malala and the stories of other girls fighting for their own education.
ICYMI: She wrote a book, “I Am Malala”
and has a documentary out during the month of October, “He Named Me Malala“.
To my girlfriends who are still in school, remember that while the homework isn’t fun and you’d love to have a free Sunday to watch Netflix on your couch, remind yourself that you are fortunate enough to be growing your education and bettering yourself and your community. And I’ll remind myself of the same thing as I make payments on my student loans. (Yikes.)
Let’s stand #WithMalala and girls around the world for the right to a high-quality education.
*stats from malala.org
Most #adulting thing I did today: Got the windshield replaced on my 1992 Volvo, Lars.
Least #adulting thing I did today: Ate a cupcake and saved the frosting for last.