Terrific Woman Tuesday: Malala Yousafzai

When I first read this young lady’s book and learned about her story, I was completely in awe of her bravery and her dedication. This girl is a Pakistani school pupil and spokesperson for women’s right to education. Our terrific woman this Tuesday is, Malala Yousafzai.

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Malala lived in Mingora, the Swat District of north-west Pakistan. She had a blog on BBC and would write about the cruel actions of the Talibans. After ending her blog, she was in a documentary made by New York Times, which brought a lot of publicity to her name. In 2011, Malala received Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, and she was nominated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the International Children’s Peace Prize. The Talibans had noticed her strident criticism of them, and planned to kill her in 2012.

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On October 9, 2012 as Malala was on the bus on her way to school, a masked gunman came on looking for Malala. When they found her they shot her and the bullet went through her head, neck, and shoulder. It was  a miracle that she survived, she was in such critical condition her family was planning her funeral at the time.

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When Malala recovered, she wrote a book named, “I am Malala,” to bring awareness to her story. It was such a moving story and a well written book that by 2014 she won the Noble Peace Prize. Malala continues to fight for women’s rights, specifically in Pakistan where girls are prohibited to go to school and get an education. I admire her bravery and persistence, and I thank her for continuing to fight for what is right and allowing her voice to be heard.

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Terrific Woman Tuesday: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Kung Fu Panda 2 and it’s sequel Kung Fu Panda 3 were two fantastic movies. Perhaps it was because they were directed by a woman! Jennifer Yuh Nelson is our terrific woman this Tuesday. Jennifer was the first woman to direct an animated feature from a major Hollywood studio.

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Jennifer was born in South Korea and then immigrated with her parents and sisters at the age of 4 to California. Jennifer’s childhood consists of watching martial arts and drawing. She went to college at California State University, where she received a BFA in Illustration. Jennifer then followed her sisters into the animation field and joined DreamWorks Animation as a storyboard artist. She got to work on films such as, Madagascar and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. When Jennifer got the opportunity to direct Kung Fu Panda 2, it became the highest grossing film ever directer by a woman. That is such an amazing accomplishment!

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Jennifer became the first woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and to win the Annie Award for Best Directing in a Feature Production. She broke many boundaries and showed that having hard work and dedication really pays off. Jennifer may have first been seen as just an immigrated woman from South Korea, but now she is seen as a successful South Korean woman who directs film for major companies!

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Terrific Woman Tuesday: Mae Jemison

Because it is Black History Month, my terrific women these upcoming Tuesdays will be about African American women who have achieved great things.

This woman made history when she became the first black woman astronaut. This Tuesday’s terrific woman is Dr. Mae Jemison! Mae had a passion for astronomy ever since she was a little girl. She went to Stanford University where she double majored in chemical engineering and Afro-American studies. She also studied medicine at Cornell University and while she was there she was able to travel out of the country to places like, Thailand and Kenya. In those countries, Mae was able to provide primary medical care services to those who needed it.

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In 1987, Mae was picked out of 2,000 applicants to be an astronaut for NASA. At NASA she was a mission specialist, and she also worked as a liaison between the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and NASA crew members in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Then, on September 12, 1992 Mae became the first African American woman to go to space! How exciting!

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After working with NASA for 6 years, Mae decided to teach at Dartmouth College and she also started to help children in school who have a passion for science. Mae has broken boundaries, inspired girls from all over, gave back to her community and internationally, and has advocated for science in children’s education. Thank you Dr. Mae Jemison for being such a wonderful role model. This Black History Month we honor you!

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Terrific Woman Tuesday: Melinda Gates

This women strives to improve global health and education. She is one of the most powerful woman in philanthropy. This Tuesday’s terrific woman is Melinda Gates.

 

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Melinda is the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and being that her focus is health she has had a positive impact on many lives. Did you know that maternal deaths in Ethiopia are down 57% since 1990 due to the foundation’s efforts to get more mothers to give birth in health care facilities? Melinda has worked in more than 100 countries that face challenges in education, poverty, hunger, and health. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda is the first woman to give away more than $40 billion.

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Melinda also has a passion for computers and technology. Did you know that she graduated with a computer science degree and has spent a decade working at Microsoft? She believes that many women in technology are under appreciated, so her goal is to encourage more women to go into a tech career and help them stay there.

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Melinda has been honored with many awards such as, the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by Barack Obama, and she has also been ranked number three on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women list. It is no question that Melinda is very inspiring and brave being that she is one of the few women pursuing a career in technology.