Home / Blog / Events / A Powerful Force… A Powerful Force with a Powerful Voice: #GIRLHERO Munira Khalif Oct. 8 2014 by Dayna Geldwert Events , Leadership Share Page It is a challenging – not to mention scary – task to stand in front of people and demand their attention. Now, imagine trying to do that in front of a conference hall filled with hundreds of youth leaders – oh, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, UN Education Envoy Gordon Brown and education activist Malala Yousafzai. For #GIRLHERO Munria Khalif, 17, that sounds like her average Friday afternoon. Last year, Munira was nominated to speak at the first Malala Day at the UN, where she performed a spoken word piece about Malala’s bravery and the challenges faced by girls around the world. Her beautiful words and fiery passion shook the audience, including noted dignitaries in attendance. Munira is a powerful force with a powerful voice, and her #GIRLHERO-ness extends well beyond her presentation at the UN. In September, Munira was named a winner of the Special Envoy Youth Courage Award and received the award in-person at the #UpforYouth Rally in New York. She was also recently named the 2014 Minnesota Poetry State Champion. Munira’s parents came from Somalia, where a continuous civil war has taken the lives of many and has broken the dreams of children. “This civil war has taught me the importance of the opportunities I have here in America. I have truly valued my academics and I have found the joy in learning,” Munira said. She has used her opportunities to create opportunities for others, starting her own nonprofit, Lighting the Way, to give back to Somalian populations. A Girl Up Teen Advisor, an activist, and an all-around amazing girl: Munira, you’re our #GIRLHERO.