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Photo by Odd Andersen​/AFP/Getty Images.​

You've probably heard of Malala Yousafzai.

Yousafzai gained worldwide attention when she survived an assassination attempt from the Taliban in 2012. She was shot in the head and neck while on the school bus in Swat Valley, Pakistan, because she was advocating for girls' rights to an education.


Since then, Yousafzai has made it her life's mission to champion gender equality and human rights. She launched the Malala Fund, a nonprofit that supports girls' education across the world and she's visited refugee camps to show solidarity with displaced young people. Her work earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, making her the youngest person to ever be awarded the prestigious distinction.

In 2013, she gave a compelling speech before the United Nations on July 12, her birthday, calling for global access to education. July 12 thereafter became Malala Day.

Following in Malala's powerful footsteps, here are five other young women working to change the world for the better.

1. Emma González, 18

Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

Emma González, 18, used her voice, or lack thereof, to bring awareness to gun violence.

On March 24, at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., González captivated the world when she stood in silence for a portion of her speech. Her time at the podium was just over six minutes — the amount of time it took a gunman to open fire at her high school in Florida and kill 17 of her classmates.

González and her fellow students have spoken at rallies, met with local community members, and have even gone head-to-head with lawmakers demanding actionable change to gun law reform.

2. Mari Copeny, 10

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

You may have heard of Mari Copeny as "Little Miss Flint." The 10-year-old has become one of the leading activists fighting for access to clean water in Flint, Michigan.

When she first heard news that her town's water supply was contaminated, a then-8-year-old Mari wrote a letter to then-President Obama requesting to meet with her and other Flint residents to discuss the water supply. In response, Obama traveled to the city to see the issue firsthand.

Little Miss Flint is still working hard for her community. In the past year, she has raised thousands of dollars to provide Flint students with backpacks for the school year. She has even appeared in a campaign ad endorsing Abdul El-Sayed for governor of Michigan.

3. Yara Shahidi, 18

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV

Yara Shahidi, 18, is all-around #BlackGirlMagic. You may know her as Zoey Johnson from the television shows "Black-ish" and "Grown-ish," but the budding actress has dedicated her platform to advocate for social justice.

Shahidi has been an outspoken advocate for better representation and diversity in Hollywood. She uses her appearance on daytime and late-night television to speak in favor of human rights and racial equality. Most recently, the Iranian-American actress spoke about the harmful consequences President Donald Trump's Muslim ban has on families like hers.

But Shahidi also puts her words into practice. She started Yara's Club, a collaboration with the Young Women's Leadership School, where she gathers high school students to discuss how to bring about social change. She has also worked with Michelle Obama for the former first lady's Let Girls Learn program that emphasizes girls' education.

What's Shahidi up to now? This fall, when she's not acting or leading the resistance, Shahidi will be pursuing an undergraduate degree at Harvard University. She plans on majoring in African-American studies and sociology.

4. Bana Al-Abed, 9

Photo by Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images.

Bana Al-Abed may not be 10 yet, but she has experienced some of the most daunting realities of this world. Al-Abed gained notoriety for using Twitter to show the world the hellish conditions in her community in Aleppo, Syria. From broadcasting airstrikes to describing widespread hunger, Al-Abed gave people an inside look into the nightmare and human strife that comes with war.

Al-Abed and her family managed to flee to Turkey as refugees, but while she may have managed to escape the terrors of war, the experiences still live with her. In October 2017, Al-Abed released a book, "Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace," detailing her accounts of the Syrian Civil War to further spread her message.

5. Janna Jihad, 12

Photo by Janna Jihad/Facebook.

Janna Jihad is among the world's youngest journalists. But for Jihad, who lives in Nabi Saleh of the occupied West Bank, journalism is no easy feat. She uses her mother's iPhone to film videos in Jerusalem, Nablus, Hebron, and Jordan, where she documents in English and Arabic the discrimination Palestinians face at checkpoints and Israeli soldiers' abuse toward women and children.

Her work has also made her a target. In April 2018, Israeli authorities detained and interrogated Jihad on her way home on the Jordanian border.

But the 12-year-old is no stranger to scare tactics. She and her family experienced much worse, and violence won't faze her from continuing her journalism career. It's her way to defend her family and the Palestinian people. "My camera is my gun," Janna told told Al Jazeera. "The camera is stronger than the gun [...] I can send my message to small people, and they can send it to others."

These young women may advocate for different causes, but they prove one important message.

It's an understatement to say that these activists are inspiring. Despite hardship and turmoil, these young women were able to find voices within themselves and take a stand.

It proves that it doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, how old you are, or which gender you identify with, if you put your mind to it, anyone can make a difference.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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