One Book, One Community event celebrates activist

By: Sam Walker, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, March 23, Volunteer State Community College held a panel in the Rochelle Center to commemorate Malala Yousafzai.

The Struggle for Education panel was held as a discussion amongst six panelists all with a variety of different struggles in order to become educated. The inspiration for this event was the book titled “I Am Malala.”

This book follows the amazing story of a young girl named Malala who survived when a group of Taliban boarded her bus, asked for her by name, and shot her in the head for being an advocate for female education in Pakistan since she was eleven years old.

She was flown to a military hospital for medical care.

After undergoing surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation Malala regained her ability to walk and talk. After her recovery she continued to be an activist and uses her story as an inspiration to girls everywhere.

She went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her work.

There were seven panelists gathered for the discussion consisting of: Rebecca Loftis, Patty Powell, Rozhan Sadik, Rahim Buford, Melinda Peery, Margarita Perez, Ndume Olatushani, and the moderator Sarah Passino.

Before the panelist began there was a short video shown of stories of Vol State students who have struggled with their own obstacles to achieve going to college. The students featured in this production were William Spratt, Margarita Perez-Torres, Carolina Davila-Torres, Gaynell Buffinet Payne, John Lam, Mary Choul, and Seth Walker. After the video presentation the panelist introduced their stories of their struggles while achieving education that ranged from poverty, segregation, crime, and disability.

A Q&A was held after the panel for students to ask their own questions. One student, Chris Torres stated to the panelist, “Thank you all for being here, all of your stories are truly amazing.”

With over 50 students and faculty in attendance the panel was conducted and organized by executive assistant to the President, Lauren Collier and Director of Library Services and Learning Resources, Sarah Smith.

When asked about the panel Sarah Smith stated, “I hope that there is greater realization that education is truly a privilege not to be taken for granted.”   

Stop by Thigpen Library to pick up a copy of “I am Malala” as there are many copies available for checkout.