Education #BestoftheWeb: Amy Poehler, Malala Yousafzai and Michelle Obama

Education creates brilliant minds.  Encouraging girls and women to learn is the first step to empowerment.  This the powerful, resounding message of today’s featured women.  Pick up their torch and also become a powerful advocate for education!  As a woman, do all you can to expand your education; become knowledgeable about life, about your career.  Encourage the young girls in your life to pursue education.  Need a spark to get you excited for learning again?  If so, read on and prepare to be inspired: 

Are You Smarter Than a Celebrity? – People

Do you think you’re smarter than the average celebrity?  If you think they don’t have much more going for them than their good looks, take a look at the everyday celebs with extraordinary degrees and levels of intelligence:

Amy Poehler – Stand-up Comedian; Actress (Sisters, Parks and Recreation, The Awesomes, Mean Girls, SNL)

  • Bachelor’s in Media and Communications at Boston College
  • Author of Yes Please (2014)

Kate Beckinsale – Model (Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan); Actress (Click, Serendipity, Underworld, Van Helsing, Pearl Harbor)

  • Studied French and Russian Literature at Oxford University’s New College, as well as German, for three years  
  • Speaks English, French, German and Russian
  • Two-time winner of the W.H. Smith Young Writers’ competition for her short stories and poems
  • Had a reading level of an 11-year-old when at age six
  • IQ of 132

Aisha Tyler – Stand-up Comedian; Co-host (The Talk); Actress (Criminal Minds, Archer, Friends, Ghost Whisperer, 24)

  • Bachelor’s in Government with a minor in Environmental Policy at Dartmouth College
  • Speaks English, French, Russian and Swahili
  • Author of Self-Inflicted Wounds (2013) and Swerve (2004)

Ashley Judd – Actress (Divergent, Insurgent, Salvation)

  • Master’s in Public Administration at Harvard University
  • Bachelor’s in French at University of Kentucky
  • Co-authored her biography, All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir (2012)

Jean M. Auel – Author (Earth’s Children® Series)

  • Master’s in Business at University of Portland
  • Wrote 6 New York Times® Best Sellers
  • Member of MENSA, high IQ society

Rashida Jones – Actress (Angie Tribeca, The Awesomes, Parks and Recreation); Soundtracks (The Baxter, Reno 911!); Session Vocalist

  • Bachelor’s in Philosophy and Comparative Religion at Harvard University
  • Author of Frenemy of the State #1 comic book (2010)

Emma Watson – Actress (Harry Potter, Noah, The Tale of Desperaux, Ballet Shoes)

  • Bachelor’s in English Literature at Brown University
  • A+ student in high school
  • IQ of 138
  • Appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014

Mayim Bialek – Actress (The Big Bang Theory, Blossom); Voice Actress (The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Kim Possible)

  • Ph.D. and Bachelor’s in Neuroscience, specializing in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome, at UCLA
  • Bachelor’s in Jewish Studies and Bachelor’s in Hebrew at UCLA

‘He Named Me Malala’ Shortlisted for Documentary Oscar – AWN

Malala Yousafzai’s documentary entitled ‘He Named Me Malala’ just made the shortlist for an Academy Award.  In the film, Malala recounts how the Taliban prohibited her and other girls from attending school and then shot her in the head for speaking up against them.  Malala survived the horrific event at age 10 and went on to become one of the most prominent and compelling activists for female education.  

In short, she established the ‘Malala Fund’ ( in 2013 and won the 2014 ‘Nobel Peace Prize.’  In 2015, Malala opened ‘Malala Yousafzai All-Girls School’ near the Syrian border, wrote ‘I Am Malala’ book, released ‘He Named Me Malala’ documentary film, and took second place in TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’ reader polls.  Whew!  Everyone root for Malala’s film to become one of the five Oscar nominees announced on January 14, 2016.  And, hopefully, watch her take home the golden trophy at the ‘88th Oscars’ on February 28, 2016.

Michelle Obama Tells Global Educators To ‘Let Girls Learn’ – Forbes

Calling all girls!  Michelle Obama launched the ‘Let Girls Learn’ campaign in early 2015 and now she’s rallying girls from around the world to participate in the #62MillionGirls Yearbook.  Simply post a black/white image of yourself (as a current or previous student), use the hashtag #62MillionGirls, and tell the world what you learned in school.  Your efforts will raise awareness of the more than 62 million girls around the world who are denied an education.

Shakira Promotes Early Childhood Development with ‘Fisher-Price’ Project – Billboard

Shakira began ‘The Barefoot Foundation’ in 1997 and has remained hands-on since day one.  Over the past year, she launched the ‘Shakira First Steps Collection’ of toys with ‘Fisher-Price,’ as well as a 12-part web series for millennial parents.  She recently announced a new mobile app called ‘Grow,’ featuring 2,000 early childhood development tips.  Generously support Shakira’s organization!  All proceeds help to launch high-quality education centers to low-income children, like the one she just opened in Cartagena, Colombia.

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