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Tuesday's children connect with Malala's story

Children in state care watch a documentary about Malala Yousafzai. (WJAR)

Editor's note: Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai spoke at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence in July 2016. The young Pakistani girl was shot for disobeying the Taliban and attending school. Among those in the audience were foster children from Adoption Rhode Island.

Foster children at Adoption Rhode Island and high school students from the First Star URI Academy listen intently to the story of Malala Yousafzai and make connections to their own lives.

Malala was just 15 years old when she was shot while riding a bus home from school.

Education was so important to her that she had defied Taliban law that forbid her as a girl from attending school. It's something that hits home for children in foster care, because educational outcomes for them are poor. Few go on to college.

Malala's message makes them more determined to stay in school.

"I think we need to take advantage of what we have," one girl said.

While Malala was severely injured, her attackers did not win. She survived with a forgiving spirit, something hard for this group to comprehend.

"I'd do all the speeches and stuff, but I'd still despise them," one boy said.

Today, Malala fights for equal rights for girls, spreading her message around the world.

The boys and girls is this group have experienced trauma in their lives, and that's why Malala's message resonates with them, giving them hope and direction.

Her story is motivation to use their own life experiences, both good and bad.

"Own what happened to you. Make it a part of who you are. Use it in a way that you can help others," one boy said.

Knowing that one person can make a difference.

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