Malala, a young activist advocating for the rights of girls to go to school in her native Pakistan and around the world, accepted the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia Tuesday night.
That award came less than two weeks after Malala became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In the audience for Jim Gardner's one-on-one interview were hundreds of Delaware Valley school girls for whom Malala has become something of a hero.
Jim: How is Malala going to use the Nobel Peace Prize to further her mission and her cause?
"It was my dream to see every child going to school. I want to continue this campaign. I feel that after getting this award, there's a lot more responsibilities. I want to continue this campaign for education. That's why I want to spend this money which I will get from the Nobel Peace Prize, on education in Pakistan - especially in my hometown of Swat Valley. I used to see children there not getting the opportunity to go to school. I'm still thinking about them, and I want them to get an education," said Malala.
Click here to watch Jim Gardner's full interview with Malala
At 11 years old, Malala started speaking out against the Taliban as they were blowing up schools and ordering girls to stay inside their homes in her village of Mingori in Swat Valley.
Finally, on October 9th, 2012, the Taliban tried to silence her with a gunshot to her head as she rode the bus home from school.
Her father said it was time to plan her funeral, but even while she was in the hospital, the Malala phenomenon was being born.
"When I was in the hospital, I did not know what was happening outside. I was ill. I was not feeling well. I could not even walk, and the doctors were helping me. For me, I did not know what was happening outside. But soon I was informed that there were a lot of cards coming and letters. When I saw the news, I just could not imagine that now I'm not alone, and people are standing with me, and we are now together in this campaign of education. Instead of saying, 'No I don't want to continue the campaign,' I said, 'This time I'm feeling more powerful so I should definitely continue the campaign,'" she said.
Jim: How does the 17-year-old feel when she hears that a young girl, in Philadelphia for instance, says that Malala's words speak for them?
"I feel very happy and very honored. I have met many girls in Philadelphia, and I am going to meet many more. And I'm totally thankful to them for their love and for their support. It's their support that encourages me. If I was alone I might not have been able to go forward. So their support is really important for me," said Malala.
Malala, who now lives in England, says she plans to return to Pakistan despite the potential danger, because she says it is her responsibility to go back.
She also acknowledges criticism of her selection as a Nobel winner, but says she is proud of what she's been able to accomplish. She adds that this is only the beginning.