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Common Passion for Common Good
When we are growing up, we often imagine ourselves doing certain jobs: firefighter, sports star, lawyer, farmer, doctor. But the twists and turns that we encounter as we travel down life's road often take us in very different directions from those we expected. Some of the women featured in this booklet knew that they wanted to be scientists. But many didn't. They discovered their enjoyment of science through trial and error, through chance or fate. The road ahead is not always clear, but it is often more interesting and fun to make your own path, as these women have done, rather than follow the same road that everyone else is on.
All of the young women profiled in this booklet are unique. They come from many countries around the world, from diverse cultures, and often from very different backgrounds. Each has faced obstacles—poverty, discrimination, political unrest—but all have overcome these difficulties, even growing stronger for having faced them.
As there are differences, so are there similarities. These scientists, who have been kind enough to let us get a glimpse of who they really are, have many things in common: a passion for what they do, the desire to give back to their communities and help others less fortunate than themselves, and an inner strength that allows them to achieve their goals.
Another common thread you will notice in these inspirational stories is that all of these women have a connection to the L'Oréal Foundation and UNESCO through a fellowship they received. On the facing page, you can learn more about how the L'Oréal Foundation and UNESCO support women in science.
We here at Science and AAAS hope that you enjoy reading about the lives of these remarkable young women and are inspired by what they have achieved. All of these women have set out to make the world a better place; although they are still young, many have already achieved that goal. Each is exceptional in her own way, but they are also just like every young scientist: full of hope and passion, as well as some fear and uncertainty.
Look at what they have done and know that you can do it, too. You can also find your passion, your path. And make a difference.
Sean Sanders, Ph.D.
Commercial Editor, Science