NEW YORK: Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, is being honoured with a second prestigious Harvard University award for her work in promoting girls' education around the world and her courageous leadership.
The Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School announced that Ms. Yousafzai, a 21-year-old student at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, will be awarded the 2018 Gleitsman Award Thursday in Cambridge, a city in the US state of Massachusetts.
She will receive the $125,000 prize for improving the quality of life of children around the globe. David Gergen, professor of public service at Harvard Kennedy School and Center for Public Leadership director, who is also a senior analyst for CNN, said Ms. Yousafzai epitomizes strength and resiliency.
"Malala speaks powerfully to the strength and perseverance of women and girls who are oppressed," Gergen told The Harvard Gazette. "Her remarkable story has inspired girls —” and boys as well — to follow in her footsteps and has activated a generation of practitioners and legislators who are fighting for equality in their own communities."
She joins distinguished company, as previous Gleitsman Award winners include former South African President Nelson Mandela, and US women's rights activist Gloria Steinem, according to The Harvard Crimson, Award namesake Alan Gleitsman was an entrepreneur and philanthropist who donated $20 million to endow the Gleitsman Programme in Leadership for Social Change at the Center for Public Leadership in 2007. The purpose of the award is to train students in social entrepreneurship and activism.
"Alan Gleitsman, whose philanthropy made this award possible, believed in individuals whose vision inspired others to confront injustice,Gergen said. "He was an ardent supporter of Harvard Kennedy School"s efforts to cultivate the world's youngest changemakers and would be so pleased by today's announcement."
Ms. Yousafzai, the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize – in 2014“ also won the Harvard Foundation's Peter Gomes Humanitarian Award in 2013, reported The Harvard Crimson.
Her courageous story in the face of danger and threats made her an international star as she inspired a generation of girls to aspire for a free, quality, accessible education, the paper said. Samantha Power, Harvard Kennedy School professor of global leadership and public policy and a former US ambassador to the United Nations, who will be part of a discussion with Ms. Yousafzai during Thursday's ceremony.