Once a while we come across a success story that makes us amazed and wondrous of the story behind it. It inspires us and makes us want to achieve great things in life. These stories stay with us for long and the people who win against all odds often become more than personalities and inspirations – they become someone we look up to and genuinely respect. We want to be like them. The story of an ordinary shepherd girl from Morocco who went on to achieve her dream and become not just an inspiration to all but someone who an entire nation respects – she’s now the education minister of France!

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We keep reading stories of women empowerment and feminism but we never really bother to know the origins of those women who really struggled and made it to the top. France Education Minister, Najat Belkacem was born in Nador, a tiny little village in the Moroccon countryside. She is the second of 7 siblings. At the age of 5, she moved with her family to Amiens to be with her father, a labourer. As they were immigrants, she faced a lot of immigrant issues and at that young age, her interest in politics began to develop. Knowing her interestes and wanting a future in politics, she decided to pursue an education in that field and graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies in 2002.

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Her political career began immediately as she joined the Socialist party in 2002 and the team of Lyon mayor Gérard Collomb in 2003. Along with the Mayor, she learnt the tricks of democracy and began her work on issues plaguing the society then such as fight against discrimination, promotion of citizen rights, and access to employment and housing, etc. Her political career flourished and in 2005, she became advisor for the Socialist Party. It was in 2008 that she was first elected by vote as the conseillère générale of the Rhône department in the cantonal elections with 58.52% of the votes. She then went on to get appointed as appointed French President François Hollande’s cabinet as Minister of Women’s Rights and spokeswoman for the government in 2012!

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She is the youngest person and woman ever to be appointed as France’s Minister of Education in 2014! Hats off to her and her story proves that if you have the will and the determination, nothing and no one can stop you! So then, are you inspired to chase your dream?