'Raise your hand' video profiles

Learn about the extraordinary people featured in our "Raise your hand" video and why they are education champions

Our new video Raise Your Hand is a call to action to launch GPE's fourth financing campaign and raise funds in support of education for up to 1 billion children in 87 countries.

Below, you will learn why the video features a few extraordinary people who understood the power of an education.

To support our campaign, please join us and take action

Nimdoma Sherpa

Nimdoma Sherpa

“Whatever I am today is because of education.”

Nimdoma Sherpa

Nimdoma Sherpa was the first in her family to graduate from high school. Born in a remote Himalayan village in Nepal, she originally attended school to ensure that she received a nutritious meal each day. Once there, Sherpa realized the power of education to help her reach her dreams. She completed her academics in Kathmandu, and in 2008, at the age of only 17, became the youngest woman at that time to reach the top of Mount Everest. Over the next several years, Sherpa ascended the highest peaks on seven different continents. Together with the Seven Summits Women Team, she founded Global Inclusive Adventures, an organization that visits schools across Nepal with the goal of inspiring young students. Sherpa collaborates extensively with the United Nations World Food Programme and has served as a WFP Champion for Girl Education in Japan.

Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa

“I believe a good education can take you anywhere on Earth and beyond.”

Ellen Ochoa

In 1993, Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to reach the stars when she launched into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery. During her career as an astronaut, she spent close to 1,000 hours in space and flew on four separate missions. In 2013, Ochoa was appointed Director of the NASA Johnson Space Center, the first Hispanic and second female to hold that title. Under her lead, important advancements were made in space exploration and new initiatives were created to expand diversity and inclusion at NASA. A true believer in the importance of education, Ochoa actively encourages women and minorities around the world to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She has been featured in many school textbooks, and six schools proudly bear her name.

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

“In this world, we are not perfect. We can only do our best.”

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Born with a severely deformed leg, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah cycled more than 600 kilometers across Ghana in 2001 to raise awareness about the plight of disabled youth in his native country. Often subject to discrimination, Ghanaian children with disabilities typically lacked access to public school education. But that all began to change when Yeboah’s heroic trek garnered international attention, resulting in an invitation from the Challenged Athletes Foundation to participate in a triathlon in the USA. Outfitted with a brand-new prosthetic leg, he finished the race in record time, earning the CAF Most Inspirational Athlete of the Year Award. With $50,000 in awards money, Yeboah returned to Ghana and founded the Emmanuel Education Fund to support students with disabilities. From distributing wheelchairs to building schools, he has helped pave the way for inclusion and academic equity in Ghana, and become a role model for youth across the nation and beyond.

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

Martin Luther King

Had it not been for education, Martin Luther King may not have become the civil rights leader we honor today. Thanks to his studies, King was introduced to Henry David Thoreau’s writings and inspired by his essay, Civil Disobedience. He was exposed to and later emulated the non-violent activism exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi. Education laid the foundation for a man who raised his hand, time and time again, to speak up for those who had no voice. From the Montgomery bus boycott to peaceful demonstrations, countless lectures to his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial, King heralded a civil rights movement that paved the way for racial equality and constitutional liberty for all. His achievements earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, as well as a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal, and forever altered the course of history.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Nelson Mandela

Every year on July 18th, people across South Africa dedicate 67 minutes to helping others. Each minute represents one of the years Nelson Mandela spent serving his country. In his long fight against apartheid, Mandela turned to education as a means to end the struggles of his race. A degree in law allowed him to represent black citizens devoid of any rights and fueled his belief in justice for all. Leader of the African National Congress, Mandela’s political activism eventually landed him in prison. During his 27 years of incarceration, he furthered his studies and secretly wrote the autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. Upon his release, Mandela continued advocating for social equality, rallying international support for the anti-apartheid movement, and earning him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. One year later, the first democratic elections took place in South Africa, and Mandela became the country’s first black President.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzafi

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

Malala Yousafzai

On October 9th, 2012, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a gunman while riding the bus home from school. She had been targeted by the Taliban for her outspoken advocacy of education for girls. Growing up in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, Yousafzai attended a school founded by her father. At just 11 years old she began writing a blog for the BBC under a pen name, describing life under Taliban rule which forbade girls an education. Even when her identity was revealed, Yousafzai continued to speak out and her public platform grew, prompting the attempted assassination. After her recovery, she was more determined than ever to make her voice heard. She founded the Malala Fund, a charity advocating educational opportunities for girls, and today travels the world to share her story and shed light on gender discrimination. Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her fearless pursuit of education as every child’s right.