April 8th, 2013
12:35 PM ET

Malala's first grant will educate 40 girls

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) - Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai has said 40 girls in Pakistan will be the first to benefit from a fund set up in her name after she was shot in the head by the Taliban for her efforts to promote girls' education.

She announced the $45,000 grant for education in the Swat Valley - the Taliban stronghold where she's from - in a video played at the Women in the World summit in New York City on Thursday.

"We are going to educate 40 girls, and I invite all of you to support the Malala Fund," she said.

"Let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls."

Actress and U.N. special envoy Angelina Jolie spoke movingly of Malala's courage in the face of the Taliban's attempt to silence her, saying there was "always something special" about her.

"They shot her at point blank range in the head and made her stronger," she said.

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April 8th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

'Brilliant Bus' shrinking digital divide

By Danielle Berger, CNN

West Palm Beach, Florida (CNN) - Working as a guidance counselor five years ago in Palm Beach County, Estella Pyfrom noticed that fewer students had access to a computer after school.

The sluggish economy forced many families to prioritize their money and use it for more pressing needs.

"They needed food. They needed to pay their mortgage or their rent," said Pyfrom, a former teacher. "Some of them lost their cars. So I knew it was a serious problem."

Without a computer at home, or reliable transportation to get to a computer, Pyfrom feared that many of these students would get left behind.

So she bought a bus, filled it with computers and brought technology to the kids.

Her mobile computer lab, Estella's Brilliant Bus, has provided free, computer-based tutoring for more than 2,000 students since 2011.

"If people don't have some knowledge of technology, they're going to be limited," said Pyfrom, who retired in 2009 and used money from her savings to buy the bus. "It's absolutely essential that they get involved technologically."

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