17 Reasons to Be Inspired by Youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner Ever, Malala Yousafzai

by John Boone 5:00 PM PDT, October 10, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

Malala Yousafzai is a women’s rights activist, a human rights activist, and an advocate for education. She’s a columnist, a memoirist, and a documentary subject. She won Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize and has been named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” She has spoken at the United Nations, and, today, she won the Nobel Peace Prize.

She’s 17-years-old.

Malala, who shares the honor with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, is the youngest Nobel laureate ever. “Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has...shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations,” the Nobel committee explained.

NEWS: Find out why Malala Yousafzai FaceTimed with Justin Bieber

1. In 2012, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because she was publically campaigning for education for girls. She was only 15. But she said it did not kill her spirit:

2. And though it made global news, she did not want to be known for it alone:

3. So she used her newfound status to share her views — the very same views that put her life in danger — with the world:

4. And she became the girl who fought for education:

5. Because she thought education would save the world:

6. And that everybody deserved access to that education:

NEWS: Taylor Swift supports Emma Watson's feminism speech

7. July 12 has officially been declared “Malala Day” in the United Nations. Here is her U.N. Youth Assembly speech from 2013:

“'Malala Day' is not my day,” she says. “Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.”


9. Here is Malala’s appearance on The Daily Show, where she left Jon Stewart completely speechless:

10. And here is Malala discussing her first Nobel Peace Prize nomination last year:

11. Malala’s goal in life is to help herself, but more importantly, to help others:

12. So she started the Malala Fund, with those funds supporting multi-million dollar programs to support education and, currently, to help children refugees of Syria:

NEWS: George Clooney's wife, Amal Alamuddin, turns down U.N. role

13. Here is a video of Malala with those child refugees:

14. She is not scared of those who threaten her because of her work:

15. She will not be held back because she is a girl:

16. And she will not let anyone stop what she was meant to do:

17. Which is why she is so deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.

“I felt more powerful and more courageous because this award is not just a piece of metal…To know that there are people who are supporting me in this campaign,” she said while accepting the award. “And we are standing together to make sure that every child gets a quality education.”

Watch another incredible woman's U.N. speech: Emma Watson talks equality.