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Miriam had a chronic problem. Before exams, she would cry all night and sometimes even faint in anticipation. Her reaction was not surprising. She lost her father to drugs and alcohol and her mother was left with 11 children to support.

School wasn’t much of a haven either. Her teachers would harass her for being a Copt and assured her that she would never go to college.

Nevertheless, Miriam was determined to go to college. Fortunate for her, she had a Coptic Orphans Rep who lived nearby and could encourage her on a daily basis. The Rep would call her before exams, take her to her local priest for counsel, and then follow up with a phone call after the exam to see how she did.

It took time and a lot of encouragement from her Rep, but Miriam was able to improve her scores and move from Grade 10 when she first entered Coptic Orphans to Grade 11. “I feel very lucky to be in Coptic Orphans,” says Miriam. “My father would not allow my brothers and sisters to go beyond elementary school.”

Now, 18 years old and ready to enter the 12th grade, her dream is either to go into law or broadcasting.

Miriam, we’re all rooting for you!