Instead of a porcelain piggy bank most American kids have, my mom and her friends made small pots out of clay to store the coins they saved. While her friends would buy candy for themselves with their money, my mom would save up her own coins to buy a novel from a small bookstore.
While the world promised that by the end of next year every single child would be at school, the total figure for children who are being deprived not just of an education but of the oxygen of opportunity was 57 million last year.
Despite a certain degree of activism by some women leaders, the progress of girls' education across Africa still lags behind that of boys at all levels and is particularly bleak at the postgraduate level.
These young girls are still being held captive, their condition is unknown, they are at extreme risk of being sexually abused and trafficked and the leaders of Boko Haram have threatened to sell them as slaves and into child marriages.
Your generation has opportunities that I never imagined when I was your age. You are able to connect in ways I never dreamed possible. I want you to soak up all of this and think about what you have learned about being a strong, educated, thoughtful young woman.
Millions of girls around the world are unable to go to school. Fortunately for Nafkot Aschenaki, this was not the case. At the age of 24, Nafkot graduated from her local university in Ethiopia with a law degree.
Ornithologists may have discovered a rare species of owl in Oman. But there's an even rarer breed of higher education exhilaration in this tiny nation, an excitement that is igniting a flame of hope and possibility in a world that so desperately needs it.
It has been rare, certainly in recent times, that someone from my home country, Pakistan, has become a household name for courage, dignity and passion for a worthy cause. Yet Malala Yousafzai has done exactly that.
Studies have shown that half of the reduction in child deaths in the last 20 years is the result of increases in mothers' general level of education. 4 million children are alive today because their mothers got an education.
Something special is happening in Thailand. Over 400 girls are blossoming like beautiful lotuses at the Dhammajarinee Witthaya School -- the first Buddhist boarding school for girls from kindergarten through 12th grade.