After swimming at the Olympics, a Syrian refugee gains a new platform at the U.N.

After swimming to escape Syria and saving the lives of other refugees -- then swimming as part of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team at the Olympics -- Yusra Mardini probably deserves a bit of a rest. Instead, the tenacious Syrian teen was honored earlier this month at the first Global Goals Awards and continues to raise awareness for refugees. Read on to learn about Mardini, as well as more about what refugees face -- and what they can achieve. - A Syrian teenager who saved fellow refugees from drowning and then swam for the refugee team at the Olympics was among those honored at the first Global Goals Awards in New York City.

Yusra Mardini, 18, who fled Syria with her sister in 2015 and now lives in Germany, received the Girl Award at the ceremony on Tuesday night.

The awards honor champions for women’s and girls’ rights and were organized by UNICEF, a children’s humanitarian program run by the United Nations.

Mardini, who had to swim for her life when her overloaded boat broke down in the Mediterranean Sea on the way to Europe, captured headlines when she competed at the Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

At a U.N. summit on migrants and refugees this week, she told world leaders that she wanted to change perceptions of those displaced from their homes.

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