Editor's note: Sarah Brown is the executive chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education and is a founder of the digital mobilization initiative A World at School. She went to school in Tanzania and the United Kingdom. This open letter to the girls of the world is part of the "Girl Rising" project. CNN Films' "Girl Rising" documents extraordinary girls and the power of education to change the world.
(CNN) -- Dear Girls of the World,
My own schooling taught me that the opportunity to learn is a gift, and the guidance of a good teacher is life-changing. It is important as a girl to learn how to earn your own living, stand up for your own point of view and share your skills and experiences with others. As the great African proverb goes, you must lift as you climb.
In school, I learned that reading, writing and numeracy are powerful tools for life, but so too are stories: stories about our own histories and our culture; stories we can tell, draw, write and perform. How we see ourselves becomes who we are -- so we must see ourselves as tall and strong and kind, and connected to others.
Being safe is a prerequisite for learning. If girls are not safe when they walk to school, attend school and as they return home, everything is taken away. We must all fight for our sisters to be safe from violence of any kind, so that they are free to learn, grow and flourish.
Learning with and about boys is important -- we all live together in our world. Despite the heightened focus on girls, it's important not to forget to teach boys that their own learning and the learning of their sisters are equally valuable.
We have, among ourselves, the power to change the lives of everyone. Each of us must use our voice through whatever networks we have to spread the news that educating girls will transform the world. We must talk to our neighbors, tell our friends, share our tweets and blogs, and create a great noise so that no leader, no education official and no head teacher or principal can avoid hearing the message: that every child -- which means every single girl -- deserves to go to school and learn.
-- Sarah Brown