Today is Malala Day, and across the world, we celebrate the fight for access to education in honour of Malala Yourafzai, who just graduated high school. Such a massive inspiration for some many of us, Malala started leading and making a difference when she was a young teenager, all because she saw something that frustrated her and started doing what she could to change it. At age 17, she won the Nobel Peace Prize. Today she celebrates her 20th birthday.

You don’t have to win a Nobel Prize to become a leader, you don’t have to have a day named after you. You don’t have to wait until you are an adult, until you have the right education, until you have money behind you. You can start small and you can start now.

To help inspire you, here are some of our favourite Malala Quotes…..

1. “It feels like this life is not my life. It’s a second life. People have prayed to God to spare me and I was spared for a reason—to use my life for helping people.” —Parade

2. “A girl’s voice is powerful and it can bring change in the community.” —ONE.org

3. “There are many children across the world — more than 130 million girls who can’t go to school — and if we do not speak out for them, they will be a generation lost. They will never get this opportunity and this is something we should consider an emergency. We should not ignore it. This is the time that we speak out for it now. We tell our leaders — we tell our local politicians — that we want you to focus on education.” —ONE.org

4. “There was a time when women activists asked men to stand up for their rights…But this time, we will do it by ourselves.” —Newsweek

5. “Sometimes people like to ask me why should girls go to school, why is it important for them. But I think the more important question is why shouldn’t they, why shouldn’t they have this right to go to school.” —Speech accepting her Nobel Prize in 2014

6. “I speak — not for myself, but for all girls and boys. I raise up my voice — not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.” —Speech at the 2013 Youth Takeover of the United Nations

7.  “I tell my story not because it is unique but because it is not. It is the story of many girls.” —Newsweek

8. “Let future generations say we were the ones who stood up. Let them say we were the first to live in a world where all girls can learn and lead without fear.” —Speech after being made an honorary citizen of Canada in 2017

9. “The wise saying, ‘The pen is mightier than sword’ was true. The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them.” —Speech at the 2013 Youth Takeover of the United Nations

10. “Let us wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism and let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.” —Speech at the 2013 Youth Takeover of the United Nations

11. “I used to think I had to wait to be an adult to lead. But I’ve learned that even a child’s voice can be heard around the world.” —Speech after being made an honorary citizen of Canada in 2017

12. “The terrorists tried to stop us and attacked me and my friends who are here today, on our school bus in 2012, but neither their ideas nor their bullets could win. We survived. And since that day, our voices have grown louder and louder.” —Speech accepting her Nobel Prize in 2014

13. “I will continue this fight until I see every child, every child in school.” —Speech accepting her Nobel Prize in 2014

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