We Have to be Global Citizens and Inspire Change

Thinkers. Doers. Changemakers.

These are the people who will help make our world a safer, more educated, healthier and more inclusive space. Those who question why we do the things we do, those who take action to solve problems in their environment. Those who selflessly work together for the better of humanity.

Shiza Shahid and Hannah Barling at the Big Idea Competition at the University of Texas at Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Management.

I had the immense pleasure of hearing from and meeting Shiza Shahid, co-founder of the Malala Fund, last night at an event for work. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Malala, the Taliban tried to assassinate her at just 15 years old, for speaking out about girls’ rights to education. Miraculously, she made a near full recovery after being shot in the head at point blank range. Never has she lost hope or courage to continue the journey of helping every girl in the world access education. Malala was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize back in 2014.

Shiza has a powerful story to tell, not only about her personal struggles and successes, but also of those she has helped along the way and continues to empower.

Rather than give you my own synopsis of her life, I’m linking a few videos because hearing it straight from the source is so much more powerful.

There are no Superheroes, Just us: My Journey with Malala

30 Under 30: Shiza Shahid And The Malala Fund | TIME

How the Malala Fund Created a Movement out of a Moment

In one of the videos, Shiza talks about taking control of her destiny, and deciding to change what she thinks must be changed, every. single. day.

Hearing from her, seeing her interact with our students, witnessing the genuine kindness and compassion she embodies, was beautifully empowering.

Choose to show up. Choose to make an effort. Choose to be the difference maker in the room. Every day is a new chance to make a change. Each day is a choice: you can either live it up, or let it run you over.

Regardless of your personal intentions and goals in life, choose to go all in. Choose to wake up each day and work for it. Nothing in this life worth having comes easy, and we can’t ever forget our privilege in this world.

Y’all – there are young children all over this world who don’t even get to go to SCHOOL. Think about that the next time you’re complaining about your chemistry exam.

I know this isn’t my typical blog post, but I felt compelled to write about my experience last night and share Shiza and Malala’s stories with those of you who might be unfamiliar.

Humbled. Focused. Determined.

That’s how I’m choosing to go into 2020 – what about you?

xoxo,

HB

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