6 Amazing Women Under Age 21 Who Continue To Inspire & Change The World

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For most people, turning 18 marks the beginning of adulthood. In the United States, 18-year-olds gain the right to vote and can join the military, decisions that test their ability to connect their lives to others and to take responsibility for making a difference in the world around them. But for six amazing young women under the age of 21, the drive to change the world came long before they officially became an adult.

Take children's rights champion and education activist Malala Yousafzai, who just turned 18. The inspiring social activist showed the world the meaning of courage as she stood against the conservative views of Taliban leaders in Pakistan who believed that girls didn't deserve an education. After speaking out globally for the rights of children, Yousafzai became the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

So it should surprise no one that the on her 18th birthday, Yousafzai opened a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon. NPR reported that out of 4 million, more than 1 million of Syria's refugees live in Lebanon. According to a statement posted on the Malala Fund website, the new school will serve some 200 Syrian girls, ages 14 to 18, putting them on a path to receiving university or vocational degrees.

Yousafzai is once again inspiring the world by working to make it better. In honor of her 18th birthday, here are five other young women who changed the world before they turned 21.

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