People Who Persevered

By: Karlianna Smith

Malala Yousafzai

Malala is an Pakistani activist for female education. As a child, she became an advocate for girls' education. In 2012, she was sent a death threat for standing up about girls' education. In the same year, she was shot in the head by the Taliban, and miraculously survived. After being shot, she continued to speak out on the importance of education. In 2013, she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, but didn't win. She was nominated again in 2014, and won. She then, became the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize. She was just 17 years old. Now, she continues to persevere and overcome adversities that she encounters while speaking about girls' education rights.

Eleanor Roosevelt

When Eleanor was born, she was a disgrace to her mother because she thought Eleanor was ugly. Her mother also wanted a boy. As she grew older, she got two younger brothers. Who her mother loved very much. She would read them stories, while Eleanor stood in the corner watching. When she was eight, her mother died from an illness. Eleanor and her brothers went to live with their grandmother. Shortly after moving in with her grandma, one of Eleanor's brother's, Ellie, passed away. Her father then decided it was too much and left. A few year's went by with Eleanor and her other little brother living with their grandmother. Suddenly, her father reappeared. He wanted to connect with his little girl again. They spent a day together and left Eleanor with his three dogs while he went inside a store to get something. He never came back. As the years went by, she waited for her father to come back. Sadly, that day never would come. He passed away when she was just nine years old. She was truly an orphan. When she turned fifteen, her grandmother sent her to a boarding school in Europe, Allenswood. There she prospered and persevered through the challenges that might have followed her when she went to Allenswood. After she left the school, she became a fabulous young women. She married Franklin Roosevelt and when he became president, she served as the first lady from 1933 - 1945. She had six children. She died on November 7, 1962. She had lived a full and happy life.

Gerda Weissmann Klein

Gerda Weissmann Klein was born around the time of the Holocaust and WWII. She and her family faced major adversity because they were Jewish. When she was fifteen, Nazi's came to her home and took away her brother, Artur. A little later, she was separated from her parents and sent to work in slave labor camps for three years. Over the years, her parents, brother, and entire extended family died in the Holocaust. She was subject to starvation and torture. A few years after being taken, her and many other prisoners, were sent on a five - month death march through Eastern Europe. After that ended, her and a few other survivors, were liberated, released.

Helen Keller

Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Keller was born with her senses of sight and hearing. She started speaking at 6 months and started walking at the age of 1. In 1882, Helen contracted an illness called "Brain Fever". She got a fever. After a few days the fever broke. A few days later, Helen's mother noticed that her daughter didn't show any reaction when the dinner bell was rung, or when someone waved a hand in front of her face. At the age of just 19 months, Helen had lost both her sight and her hearing. As she grew up, she had limited ways of communication. Her and a friend, developed a method of communication, a type of sign language. By the time that Helen was 7 years old, they had over 60 sign to communicate with each other. But, because of her lack of communication, she would often through tantrums. They got so bad, that some relatives felt that Helen should be institutionalized. In 1886, Helen's mother went looking for someone to help her daughter. Helen's parents took her to Maryland to see a specialist. The specialist examined Helen and finally recommended her Alexander Graham Bell. He was the inventor of the telephone and was working with deaf children at the time. Bell met with Keller and recommended going to Perkins Institute for the Blind. They went there and met with the school's director. He suggested Helen work with one of the institutes most recent graduates, Anne Sullivan. Little did they know, Anne and Helen would become friends for 49 beautiful years. The start of a beautiful friendship. On March 3rd, 1887, Anne Sullivan began to work with Helen. At first, Helen was having trouble putting together a word with what it was. For example, Anne would spell out water in Helen's hand but she wouldn't understand the actual feeling with the word. So, Anne suggested that her and Helen be isolated from Helen's family. So, they went to live in a cottage on the plantation. After moving onto the plantation, Helen started understanding more. It was much easier for her to learn because instead of just spelling out the word in her hand, Anne would show Helen what each object was. When she spelled out water in her hand, Anne would take Helen to the water pump, have the water flow on her hand and spell out the word "water" in Helen's free hand. By nightfall, she had learned 30 words. In 1890, Helen began speech classes at Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston. She would learn to speak so that others could understand her. From 1894 to 1896, she attended the Wright - Humason School for the deaf in New York City. There, she worked on improving her communication skills and studied regular academic subjects. Around the same time, Helen was really determined to attend college. In 1896, she attended the Cambridge School for young ladies. a preparatory school for young women. As her story became known to the public, she began to meet prominent and influential people. One of them was writer Mark Twain, who was very impressed with her. As they grew to know each other, they became good friends.Twain introduced her to a friend of his, Henry H. Rogers. Who was a standard oil executive. he was so impressed with Keller's talent, drive, and determination, that he offered to pay for her to attend Radcliffe College. There, she was accompanied by Anne, who sat by her side to interpret lectures and texts. By the time that she attended college, Helen was successful in mastering multiple methods of communication. Which included touch - lip reading, Braille, speech, typing, and finger spelling. With the help of Sullivan and her future husband, John Macy, Helen was able to write her first book, The Story of My Life. It talked about her remarkable transformation from childhood to 21 year old college student. In 1924, she became a member of the American Federation for the Blind. She helped raise awareness, money, and support for the blind. In 1961, Helen suffered a series of strokes. She spent the last few years of her life at her home in Connecticut. During her lifetime, she received many honors of her accomplishments, including Theodore Roosevelt Distinguished Service Medal in 1936, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964, and election to the Women's Hall of Fame in 1965. Sadly, Helen Keller passed away in her sleep on June 1, 1968. This was just a few weeks away from her 88th birthday. During her life, Helen stood as a powerful example of how determination, hard work, and imagination can allow an individual to triumph over adversity. By overcoming difficult conditions with a great deal of persistence, she grew into a respected and

world - renowned activist who "labored for the betterment of others." One of her most famous quotes is "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."

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