Maria Shehata, Egypt

Marine Biology

New College of Florida, USA

Year of Graduation: 2021

Our 2017 Daughters for Life scholar, Maria Shehata is a go-getter in the truest sense. An athlete and a science talent, there is nothing this 19-year old can’t do.

Her outstanding academic record won her a place at Egypt’s STEM School from where she graduated with a GPA of 4 out of 4. Her single-minded focus helped her balance both studies and her passion for athletics.

Maria is a National level athletic who has achieved Bronze at track and field in Egypt. Ask her how she achieved this mean feat, and she remarks, “Everything is possible as long as I believe it and pursue to achieve it.”

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Maria. “It caused me great sorrow to discover that my society preferred that girls rather not play sports,” says Maria. This, however, strengthened her resolve even more.

“Join the university, get a high-salary job and raise children. This is the traditional routine of this life that I refuse to be a part of. I want to be unique. I want to show the world that girls can be just as successful in their lives, they can be special and can change the world into a better place,” says Maria.

Recognizing this young woman’s ambition and zeal to affect change among women through the power of education, the Daughters for Life Foundation has provided her with a full scholarship to study Marine Biology at the New College of Florida in the US. She will also take up an internship with the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Florida.

“When I achieve my dream and be one of those who affected the world, I will break every girls fear about the challenges they face or hear around them. I will make them trust themselves and have self-confidence in their ability. I will encourage them to ask for their rights, to be treated equally as a human and have the pride to be a girl,” asserts Maria.