Former first lady Michelle Obama celebrated revered Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai’s twentieth birthday in a letter pledging to support young leaders like her.
“Twenty years ago today, in a part of Pakistan where women and girls are so often silenced, a girl was born who would one day use her voice to change the world,” the former first lady wrote in an email to supporters of the Obama Foundation on Wednesday.
“Her name is Malala Yousafzai, and she is one of my heroes,” she continued.
“There are young people like Malala in every corner of the globe who are determined to get an education worthy of their promise. In the new chapter of our lives, Barack and I are committed to doing whatever we can to support these young leaders,” Obama said.
Last week, the young activist finished high school and joined Twitter.
Today is my last day of school and my first day on @Twitter [THREAD]
— Malala (@Malala) July 7, 2017
In a CNN op-ed last year, the former first lady spoke out about her admiration for Yousafzai, saying her story made girls’ education personal for her.
“For me, education was power,” she said.
“And a few years ago, when I had the honor of meeting Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head just for trying to go to school, this issue got really personal for me.”