Last week I had the privilege of witnessing a culture of peace.
There was a message delivered with urgency for global education at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The meeting was called “Conversation with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Malala Yousafzai and Young People about Girls’ Education.”
Yousafzai, who was appointed as the youngest UN Messenger of Peace, emphasized that education is a basic right that every child should have.
She believes that the youth are changemakers and therefore should believe in themselves.
Guterres agreed with Yousafzai that the voices of girls are important and should be heard. When asked what advice she would give to her younger self, she simply stated, “Believe in yourself. Believe in your ideas.”
As a woman and educator, I see the need for girls to build confidence in their abilities and skills as students and community members.” This is where we, as teachers, must step in and solidify the connection between education and opportunity. Guterres reminded us all to carry into the future the same passion for learning that we have now.
He continued on to say, “So many of us are afraid to speak up.”
We have the job of helping the youth build a voice.
There are instances when girls mute their thoughts because they are too intimidated to stand out.
However, now is the time to transform those thoughts into words and give them life through speech.
Join the movement for change.
“I decided to speak up.” -Malala Yousafzai
Clairetza Felix is a senior at St. Francis College, with a major in Childhood Education and a concentration in English. Currently, she serves as the Co-Event Coordinator for the Xi Rho Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi. As an aspiring Literacy Specialist, she chose to become a UN Youth Representative to offer a unique approach to education.