Malala Yousafzai shows what a girl can do with world-class education

Malala Yousafzai has committed her young life to advocating for girls' education around the world.

Malin Fezehai/HUMAN for the Malala Fund/AP/File
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai (c.) speaks with Syrian refugee girls during her visit to Bekaa Valley, east Lebanon, July 12. Malala celebrates her 18th birthday in Lebanon with Syrian refugees. Malala opened a new school in the Bekaa Valley funded by the Malala Fund, the non-profit she co-founded with her father Ziauddin, Malala Fund said.

Malala Yousafzai, the teen who was shot by the Taliban for advocating for girls' education, will be celebrating a string of academic successes this week.  

On Friday, Ms. Yousafzai's father took to Twitter to announce that his award winning daughter had received excellent scores on her GCSEs, an important exam taken by all British teenagers. The 18-year-old who once dodged bullets in Pakistan to attend school, can now boast of a string of As, placing her within the top tier of students who took the exam.

Yousafzai has dedicated her young life to promoting the importance of girls' education. Her story first garnered public recognition through her anonymous diary, which was published on the BBC's Urdu website in 2009. In her diary Yousafzai described her desire for girls in Pakistan to have access to an education. At the time, many girls' schools were being destroyed by militants in the Swat Valley where she is from.

After she was shot by the Taliban in 2012 in retaliation for her advocacy, Yousafzai was rushed to the United Kingdom for medical treatment. Following her recovery she and her family resettled in Birmingham, England, where Yousafzai now lives and studies in a private girls’ school. Her recovery, however, did cause some delays in her education, and Yousafzai took the GSCEs two years later than most British school children.

While catching up with her studies, she continued to campaign for girls’ education. That work earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

“For her 18th birthday on July 12, 2015, also called Malala Day, the young activist continued to take action to make global education a worldwide priority. Instead of presents, Yousafzai asked her supporters on The Malala Fund website: ‘Post a photo of yourself holding up your favorite book and share why YOU choose #BooksNotBullets – and tell world leaders to fund the real weapon for change, education!’” Yousafzai's biography reads.

But despite her international celebrity status, Yousafzai has consistently prioritized her education, The Guardian reported. Inundated with invitations, she eventually began to refrain from attending a variety of events in order to focus on her schoolwork.

On Friday, people in Pakistan celebrated the test results of their local star. 

“Nothing that Malala Yousafzai achieves seems startling any more but she continues to make Pakistan proud," the Express Tribune, an English-language Pakistani newspaper, reported.

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