A fearless teen

It has been nearly eight months since a Taliban gunman attempted to take the life of Malala Yousafzai, due to her outspokenness on the right of Pakistani girls to attend school. As the 15-year-old activist sat on a bus preparing to depart from the school grounds in Mingora, Pakistan, an armed gunman boarded and shot the girl in the head and neck.

The ambitious teenager grew up with a father who was a staunch activist for girls’ education. Ziauddin Yousafzai is the founder of a girls’ school in Mingora and always encouraged Malala to speak her mind.

Due to the courage and vision of the father and daughter, they will be joint recipients of the ninth annual Reflections of Hope award, given annually by the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

With Malala unable to travel due to her medical challenges, her father will accept the award on their behalf. A video message from the girl will be shown at Monday’s ceremony.

“She represents that good will always overcome evil, just like what we saw in Oklahoma City 18 years ago,” said Kari Watkins, executive director of the National Memorial & Museum. “They stood in the face of terror and were able to bring hope in the midst of political violence.”

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Rachael Cervenka

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