CNN PRODUCER NOTE Mexican iReporter irenemoreno says it was her mother who inspired her to gain an exemplary education -- including a masters in international development. "[My mother] was a brave, generous and brilliant visionary leader," she said. "She was a professor by profession but she gave my sister and me lessons that are impossible to study through books. She set the highest example on how to live and love for my sister and me." Sadly her mother passed away a decade ago, but she says she -- and other girls -- should take inspiration from her passion for knowledge. "When you have education, you are free to think and to accomplish your thoughts," she said. "You are able to see possibilities where before there were walls."
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
I grew up in northern Mexico with my sister and my single mother. She will constantly tell us that education is the most important thing a person can have and I was able to attend great schools thanks to my hard work and scholarships that rewarded it. I am a believer that education is the most important weapon you can have in times of war, the most important food in times of hunger and the best investment in times of crisis and poverty. Education is freedom. When you have education, you are free to think and accomplish your thoughts. You are able to see possibilities where before there were walls. I have learned that you can lose it all but you will never lose what’s in your mind. I lost my mother when I was 17 to cancer, she never knew I attended university, studied a master and moved to another country. I have freedom to choose my own destiny all because of her teachings and the opportunities I created for myself through education. Girl Rising is not only a movie, it should be message for the world, it is time to educate girls like me, girls like them and give our younger generation the opportunity be free. -Irene Moreno, Washington D.C
“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed