Yousafzai brings advocacy to social media

While Malala Yousafzai officially completed her last day of secondary school, the 19-year-old education advocate is far from finished in her fight to secure education for girls around the world.

In fact, BBC reports that to mark her last official day as a high schooler on July 7, Yousafzai sent her first-ever tweet from her account to share a message on education and her future pursuits in advocating for education worldwide.

“I know that millions of girls around the world are out of school and may never get the opportunity to complete their education,” she wrote in a thread of six tweets, says BBC. “Next week, I will be back on my to meet girls in Middle East, Africa & Latin America.”

Completing her thread by reaffirming the power of girls’ voices as “our most powerful weapons in the fight for education and equality,” BBC says Yousafzai asked her more than 200,000 followers to join her in her efforts for education.

“On and off Twitter, I’m fighting for girls —  will you join me?​”

We surely will, Malala.

A Gift to Others

When most 18-year-olds receive gifts on their birthdays, Malala Yousafzai used her birthday to give to other girls her age. And she didn’t just give any gift, she gave the gift she treasures most — the gift of education.

NPR reports that Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban while returning home from school in 2012, celebrated her 18th birthday on Sunday by opening a secondary school in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. According to the Malala Fund, the school, located near the Syrian border, will serve 200 Syrian refugee girls between the ages of 14 and 18.

NPR reports that the Malala Fund’s blog explains how the new school will work, saying “‘the new curriculum will enable students to receive their baccalaureate or vocational degrees through the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education or the Syrian equivalent,'” while those who cannot commit to the four-year program can enroll in “‘skills courses intended to help them find work and generate their own incomes.'”

A fierce education advocate, Yousafzai vowed to continue her fight for girls’ education into her adult life, saying last week at Oslo’s education summit that “‘As an adult, you can be the voice of children.'”

Malala, you are the definition of inspiring.

Dressed for Others’ Success

An 18-year-old British Columbia teen’s graduation dress is going viral, and not for the reasons you might think.

According to an interview with Yahoo’s Nora Crotty, Erinne Paisley crafted a dress for her high school graduation out of her old precalculus homework after one of her friends made similar a dress out of newspaper a few years prior. But Paisley’s dress had a special message written across the skirt: Paisley wrote “I received my education. Not every woman has that right.” In addition to this, Paisley inscribed “MALALA.ORG” along the ‘hemline’ of the skirt in support of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who was attacked by members of the Taliban and has become a well-known advocate for women’s education and advancement.

In her interview with Yahoo, Paisley says that she was inspired by Malala after hearing her speak at We Day UK, a “rally to help inspire young people to contribute to global change.” Once Paisley crafted her dress incorporating Malala’s message of support for women’s education, Paisley says she donated the money she would have spent on a graduation dress ($250, according to Yahoo) to the Malala Fund. In addition to this, Paisley auctioned off her dress online to benefit the fund, receiving bids as high $550.

Paisley told Yahoo that the response to her dress has been “‘amazing,'” saying, “‘I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people saying they are going to donate, or that [I’m bringing attention to] this issue that they’ve never paid much attention to. It’s been absolutely amazing to hear.'”

Erinne Paisley, you are certainly living an inspired life!