Sara Wray, spokesperson at Texas A&M-Commerce reports Shiza Shadid recently spoke at the university as part of the William L. Mayo Prestigious Speaker Series. Featured on the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, Shadid co-founded and served as CEO of the Malala Fund, an international organization created with the goal of keeping girls around the world in school for 12 years.
Shadid grew up in Pakistan and came to America after earning a full scholarship to Stanford University. When Shahid learned that young girls in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, only four hours away from where Shadid grew up, were being prevented from going to school by the Taliban, she decided to spend her summer creating and running a summer camp. One of the girls attending the summer camp was Malala Yousafzai.
“What I never could have predicted, what I never could have imagined is that one of the little girls who I had then started mentoring would go on six years later to become the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner,” said Shahid.
Shiza returned to Stanford after finishing the summer camp. After graduation, she earned a job in business consulting. The job was a dream job for many Stanford graduates, and Shadid moved to the Middle East with her company to learn how to operate business in emerging markets.
“I was just a year into my job when I got a text message that would make my heart stop,” said Shadid. “Malala has been shot, the text message read.”
Shiza’s story related the challenges that the youngest Nobel Prize winner in history experienced after being left for dead by the Taliban in Pakistan. A motion picture called Malala’s Story has been shown internationally.