On my sixteenth birthday I was in New York to speak at the United Nations.
Standing up to address an audience inside the vast hall where so many world leaders have spoken before was daunting, but I knew what I wanted to say.
'This is your chance Malala,' I said to myself. Only 400 people were sitting around me, but when I looked out, I imagined millions more.
I did not write the speech only with the UN delegates in mind;
I wrote it for every person around the world who could make a difference.
I wanted to reach all people living in poverty, those children forced to work and those who suffer from terrorism or lack of education.
Deep in my heart I hoped to reach every child who could take courage from my words and stand up for his or her rights.
I wore one of Benazir Bhutto's white shawls over my favourite pink shalwar kamiz and I called on the world's leaders to provide free education to every child in the world.
'Let us pick up our books and our pens,' I said. 'They are our most powerful weapons.
One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.'
I didn't know how my speech was received until the audience gave me a standing ovation.
My mother was in tears and my father said I had become everybody's daughter.