For most teenagers, going on a date with the most popular boy or girl in school or passing the last level of the newest Nintendo adventure game produces an adrenaline rush they can hardly cope with. However, for teenagers such as Jordan Romero or Malavath Poorna, the typical daily challenges teenagers all over the world have to face seem not to be exciting and tempting enough.
On March 25th, 2014, an Indian girl, aged only 13, conquered Mount Everest, the famous peak that has already claimed the lives of so many experienced mountaineers. She is the youngest girl to have climbed the world’s tallest mountain.
Malavath Poorna is only one month older than the current owner of the Youngest Person to Climb Mount Everest record, the American teenager Jordan Romero. Born and raised in a small tribal Indian village, Malavath learned how to climb at her school, which is part of Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Educational Schools, a non-profit organization that offers free education to underprivileged children.
Malavath embarked on her adventure only one month after a terrible avalanche killed 16 Sherpa guides. Showing incredible courage and determination, Malavath pursued her dream even after passing by the bodies of 6 of the avalanche’s victims. As she said during a press conference, she found the strength to keep going in the image of her parents, her school’s secretary, and the SWAEROES commandments that encouraged her to never give up or fear the unknown.
When talking about the ascent, the young teenager claims that one of the biggest challenges she had to face was not the cold, the physical effort, or the general feeling of physical and mental discomfort, as many may assume, but the packaged food she had to eat. Its unpleasant smell and taste made her homesick, as she really missed her mother’s cooking.
In an interview for The Times of India newspaper, Malavath admitted that “Climbing the Everest was certainly more difficult than I thought — but my willpower to prove that a tribal girl can do something kept me going.”
Asked about her future plans, Malavath answered that she is planning to join the Indian police force as a sign of appreciation for the retired policeman who guided her first steps in mountaineering. Given her already proven willpower, she will certainly accomplish her dream.
Malavath’s example is amazing proof of what we all can achieve with the type of ambition and dedication to self-improvement that Malavath has displayed at such a tender age. We should all keep her story with us and learn from her success.