By Kaitlin Musante ’19
Ninth and tenth grade girls gathered along with 7,000 other high school girls from Los Angeles to participate in all-day event celebrating girl power on Sept. 29. The event was part of the Girls Build LA Challenge, an event hoping to empower girls and inspire them to be innovative through the story of Malala Yousafzai, an activist from Pakistan and the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
“It was really awesome being in a stadium with so many other people who were all experiencing the same movie. Malala has so much courage and bravery. It is so inspiring to see how she can do so much with her life and carry on after such a terrible experience,” Anja Clark ’19 said.
The students departed from school before first period, arriving at Microsoft Theater at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles for the West Coast premiere of “He Named Me Malala”. Here, students listened to a short introduction speech and watched the premiere. Afterwards, the students listened to three speeches and a pre recorded speech by first lady Michelle Obama before arriving back at school around 3:00 pm.
“The documentary itself was incredible and I was able to gain so much knowledge about [Malala’s] story that I would not have otherwise known. Having the story told from her own perspective was inspiring, and in my opinion, touched the hearts of all the girls who were there in a more meaningful way,” Gaia Murphy ’19 said.
Shauna Altieri, the coordinator of the event, decided to hold it to encourage girls to be great thinkers and innovators in our community. Students who attended enjoyed engaging in the event and being involved in their community.
“The event was organized to inspire girls to pursue their education and ignite powerful, effective changes in Los Angeles and the world… The film and Mrs. Obama were certainly awe inspiring and we all left feeling empowered to lend our voices to positive change in the world,” Altieri said.