What I’m thankful for in 2014

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Earlier this year, I had no idea I would even make it to the end of the year. My life seemed like it’d forever be just a few things: adjusting to school and doing election work. But, as it’s very clear to see, I made it. And with Christmas and New Year’s ahead of us, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on the many things I have to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for my friends and family who’ve supported me through all my endeavors. And even when I ask a lot from them, they’ve always continued standing by my side.

I’m thankful for a strong end to my sophomore year and the incredible amount of progress I’ve made through my junior year, even though it’s been a little rocky.

I’m thankful for having had the opportunity to travel this year—spanning from New Orleans, to Washington, D.C., to New York City—and being able to see both old places and new places.

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The Capitol as seen from the deck of the Newseum.

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In Celebration of Education

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Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights. Malala Yousufzai

Yesterday, July 12, was Malala Day, the birthday of a courageous girl from Pakistan who was shot by the Taliban. Why was she shot? Because she wanted to go to school. She celebrated her 16th birthday yesterdat by giving a speech at the United Nations, demanding all governments to ensure free compulsory education for every child across the globe.

Malala

It’s so incredibly easy to take education for granted. I definitely have, and I’m sure many of you have too at some point. It’s almost unfathomable to think that there are children who don’t go to school.

There are 57 million children, both boys and girls, who do not go to school. There are 215 million children doing hard labor, deprived of an education. In some places, not all children are even allowed to go to school—31 million girls are out of school. In the United States, there are over 1 million primary-age students who are out of school. In the Philippines, there are 1.46 million children out of school. In Nigeria, there are over 7 million. Continue reading