THE BLOG
09/27/2013 05:40 pm ET | Updated Nov 27, 2013

'Malala is a Miracle': A Friend's Tribute to Clinton Global Citizen Award Recipient Malala Yousafzai

"I don't want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up," said Malala Yousafzai.

It has been almost one year since the Taliban's horrific attack on Malala on October 9, 2012. For those of us who have known and loved her, it has been a deeply trying period. And as we look back on this year we are grateful for her health.

Malala has fought an arduous battle, undergoing one surgery after another. And she has done so steadfastly and with immense courage, taking the time to regain her strength. She has emerged not only physically healed but also emotionally resilient and unscarred. And for that we thank God, and those who have sent their prayers and good wishes her way.

Yet for all that she has seen, and what we have seen through her, we know that her story is just now unfolding. Malala has inspired a movement, and she intends to take that movement forward to its fruition. "I want every girl to be in school, and every girl to be powerful," she said. "And I will keep struggling until that is reality."

Malala is a miracle. Not only because she survived being shot in her head at point-blank range. But because she touched the world so deeply. Her name translates to "grief-stricken."

"It makes sense to me now," says her father, "as her grief has struck the entire world."

More than 246 million impressions on Twitter last year alone. Hundreds of thousands of letters, each hand-crafted with loving detail and delivered to her hospital bed. Children from across the world mailing her shampoo, hair clips, and stationary, concerned that she may not have what they consider essentials. Song dedications from the likes of Madonna and the Gypsy Kings. Wishes of good health from scores of celebrities like Josh Groban, Alicia Keys, and Beyonce. And a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

The one unifying cry across all of this: "I am Malala."

Wisely, Malala has decided to try and harness this support into a platform that delivers real solutions. For this purpose, she is now actively building the Malala Fund. Over the past few weeks, she has focused on surrounding herself with the intellect and immersing herself in the knowledge needed to build an effective and innovative organization. Today, she feels comfortable announcing that The Malala Fund is ready to launch.

The Malala Fund aims to empower girls by giving them an education that builds their social, economic, health, and intellectual assets. To do so, it adopts a three-pronged approach. First, it invests in education, entrepreneurs and advocates at the community level who are developing solutions to put girls in school and empower them to realize their potential.

Second, it amplifies the voices of other girls like Malala, through annual "Malala awards," aimed at showcasing the power of girls and keeping their issues at the forefront of public attention.

Third, the Malala Fund champions education for all at a governmental level, working closely with partner organizations to push governments the world over to make girls' education a priority.

Malala receives the Clinton Global Citizen Award at a very fitting time. The award recognizes the movement that she has created over the past year, forged by her bravery and resilience. The honor sets the stage for a promising year ahead -- for her international campaign, and for girls' rights and education.

We who know Malala could not agree more with President Clinton and CGI: She is the very definition of a Global Citizen.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Clinton Global Initiative in conjunction with the latter's ninth Annual Meeting (September 23-26 in New York City). This week, President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton convene more than 1,000 global leaders under the Annual Meeting's theme for 2013 -- Mobilizing for Impact -- to advance solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. For more information on the Annual Meeting, clickhere. To see all of the posts by CGI mobilizers in the series, click here.

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