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‘Over the moon,’ Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai elated during first-ever visit to FBISD school that bears her name

Fort Bend ISD (March 3, 2024) – Nobel Peace Prize winner and international education advocate Malala Yousafzai said she “was over the moon to finally to see this incredible school,” during a special visit and tour today of the FBISD campus that bears her name.

It is the only school in the nation named for Malala, the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Prize.

“I could stand here for hours and hours because I don’t want to leave this school,” she said during a special program where she addressed an audience of about 400 invited students, teachers, parents, district leaders and school board members – past and present. “I want to be a student again and learn with you all. I want to be part of the choir.”

When Malala entered the school auditorium with her father and local education, human rights and community leaders who arranged her visit, she received a prolonged standing ovation.

The school’s inaugural principal, Lisa Langston, said from day one when Malala Elementary opened in January 2020, “we began to empower our students to understand they were not too young to change the world.”

Malala became a champion for educational access for girls when she was just 11 years old in Pakistan, defying the Taliban which attempted to assassinate her when she was a teenager. She recovered and courageously continued her mission, winning the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17.

“I am in awe of your incredible achievements,” current Malala Elementary School Principal Donald Lam said.

FBISD Superintendent Dr. Marc Smith told Malala, “Your story is astounding. Words cannot express what it means to us for you to be here today.”

FBISD Board President Judy Dae presented Malala with a charm bracelet with a book, alphabets, and state of Texas charms attached, asking her to “think of us when you wear it.”

The school’s namesake vowed to return one day for another visit. She took a moment for a giant group photo with the entire audience behind her, plus she took several pictures with children who performed during the program.

Before departing, she told the students, “I want you to believe in dreams, believe in yourself and see yourself as a change-maker of today and tomorrow. You can do it. I can’t wait to visit this school again, and again, and again.” 

View Photos from Malala Yousafzai's Visit to Malala Elementary School:

Malala Yousafzai