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Malala ambassador opens NCJW/Essex season
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Malala ambassador opens NCJW/Essex season

Shiza Shahid, right, with Charity Haygood.
Shiza Shahid, right, with Charity Haygood.

Shiza Shahid, cofounder of the Malala Fund, asked some 400 audience members at the National Council of Jewish Women/Essex County Section’s Oct. 20 event, “What will you do with your one miraculous life?”

Speaking at Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, Shahid encouraged attendees to tap into the power within them to create immense social change. 

Shahid is a friend of and global ambassador for Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who advocated for girls’ education in her country and was shot by the Taliban in 2012. Shahid, who cofounded the Malala Fund to empower girls through education and leadership around the world and was the organization’s founding CEO, is a social entrepreneur and advocate who leverages philanthropy, venture capital, technology, and the media to drive women’s empowerment. 

“There are no superheroes — just us,” Shahid said, as she implored her audience to find their purpose and act to create a better world. At 25 years old, the Stanford University graduate from Islamabad, Pakistan, has gained international recognition as someone working to drive social change and invest in others who are passionate about global progress. 

Also speaking at the program was Charity Haygood, principal of the BRICK (Building Responsible Intelligent Creative Kids) Avon Academy in Newark, who spoke about what inspires her to push for quality education for all. The academy is one of four locations housing the NCJW/Essex Kids Emergency Closet, which provides essential items of clothing to children in need. 

“NCJW/Essex embodies the message that both these women asserted — that when people find their purpose and live intentionally they can make progressive strides in our society,” said NCJW/Essex president Deborah Legow Schatz.

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