Denver’s South High school students got a surprise visit this morning from Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani activist for girls' education. Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012.
Yousafzai told hundreds of students she chose to visit South High because it has students from more than 60 countries. Some of them refugees, and many of those students in the audience wept as they listened to her message encouraging students to speak out for what they believe in and to share who they are.
"This is the beauty of this country, which it is known for that it is open to everyone and it respects every culture, and every tradition," she told the students. "Let’s bring back all those American values, all those human values that you should be proud of."
In a small group meeting after the assembly, a student from Sierra Leone said Yousafzai has been her motivation and proves that in a time of darkness and oppression, one voice can make a change.
"All you need to know is what you stand for and all you need to have is passion and commitment. And once you know what you want, then you can do anything," Yousafzai said.