From being honored last month with the Children's Peace Prize to giving an impassioned speech at the U.N. on her 16th birthday in New York, Malala Yousafzai's mission to educate girls has become a global crusade.

With this week marking the one-year anniversary of the day she was brutally attacked by the Taliban, the Pakistani teen and activist sat down with ABC's Diane Sawyer, where she described the moment that changed her life forever.

Sawyer asked why Yousafzai chose not to cover her face that day, unlike the other girls riding the bus.

"I wanted to live my life as I want," Yousafzai said. Watch in the video above.

The 16-year-old also explained what it felt like to come so close to death.

"I think death didn't want to kill me. And God was with me," Yousafzai said. "You must go forward, because education and peace is very important. "

Watch Diane Sawyer's exclusive interview with Malala tonight on "World News with Diane Sawyer" at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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  • Malala Yousafzai signs United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's guest books as Ban Ki-moon, center, and youth delegates look on, Friday, July 12, 2013 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, listens as Malala Yousafzai, right, addresses the ‘Malala Day’ Youth Assembly, Friday, July 12, 2013 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Malala Yousafzai poses for photographers before a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and youth delegates, Friday, July 12, 2013 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, applauds as the members of the ‘Malala Day’ Youth Assembly wish Malala Yousafzai, center, a happy birthday, Friday, July 12, 2013 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Malala Yousafzai's holds a copy of the United Nations charter presented to her by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Friday, July 12, 2013 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Former Birtish Prime Minister Gordon Brown, left, introduces Malala Yousafzai, third from left, background, during the ‘Malala Day’ Youth Assembly, Friday, July 12, 2013 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • In this photo provided by the United Nations Foundation, Malala Yousafzai celebrates her 16th birthday by addressing hundreds of young leaders who support the United Nation’s Secretary General's Global Education First Initiative, during 'Malala Day' at United Nations Headquarters, Friday, July 12, 2013. (AP Photos/United Nations Foundation, Stuart Ramson)

  • United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right, holds Malala Yousafzai's hand while posing for photographers, Friday, July 12, 2013 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)