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Throughout history, there have been many young women who have made their mark by creating art, sharing their thoughts, or speaking up for what they believe in. By celebrating their individuality and achievements, this list of historic young women can inspire you to do the same.

1. Malala Yousafzai


Photo Credit: Antonio Olmos

At 17, Malala became the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner after being recognized for her work demanding that girls deserve the right of education. Three years ago, she was almost killed by the Taliban for making such a heroic request.

2. Ramya Ramana


Photo Credit: Pancakes & Whiskey

As a youth activist, writer, poet and the current Youth Poet Laureate of New York City, Ramana has created many beautiful works about the world around her. This year, she won the New York Knicks Poetry Slam and was awarded a scholarship to St. John's University. She is currently studying philosophy and still writing poems about the world around her.

3. Ola Orekunrin


Photo Credit: Jewanda

Ola Orekunrin is the founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, the first air ambulance service in West Africa. She started the company after her sister passed away from a serious illness. Her company has transported over 500 victims that have been seriously injured.

4. Nikki Henderson


Photo Credit: Fran Colin

Nikki Henderson is the co-founder of Live Real in 2009. She designed Live Real as a national collaborative food movement that is committed to expanding access to food throughout the United States. Henderson was raised by a foster family and currently works to mentor, tutor and direct Foster Youth Empowerment Workshops.

5. Ruby Bridges


Photo Credit: AP

Ruby Nell Bridges is an African American activist who was the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South. She attended William Frantz Elementary School in 1960. Because of her courage and dedication to education, racial segregation was declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

6. Anne Frank


Photo Credit: Archivio GBB/Contrasto/Redux Pictures

"Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."

After writing a diary chronicling her experience hiding from the Nazi party, Anne Frank is considered one of the most inspirational young women the world has ever seen. Her diary discussed her hopes and dreams, her relationship with her family as well as her fears about being discovered by the Nazi Party.

7. Cleopatra


Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Cleopatra became the Queen of Egypt at the age of 18. From there she led the Egyptian army against attacks from Rome and other opposing countries. She is also known to have had relationships with Julius Ceasar and Marc Anthony. One of the most famous pop culture references to the queen is Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film Cleopatra.

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