Miss Maryland Teen USA 2021
On July 25th, 2021, Maria Derisavi was crowned Miss Maryland Teen USA. Hoping to one day become an international human rights lawyer, Maria is confident she can utilize her reign to not only advocate for causes pertinent to such passions, but also encourage women across Maryland to confidently seize their opportunities as Americans.
Born in Kuwait City, Kuwait, Maria always viewed the United States as the land of opportunity. At nine years old, Maria moved from Kuwait to Maryland with her mother and three siblings. A trilingual Iranian-American, Maria is grateful to now live in the country she once dreamed to be in– a country she believes represents freedom of pursuing one’s unique passions and opportunities.
With a dedication to internationality and educating her community on global human rights issues, Maria was accepted into her county’s Global and International Studies Academy. Immediately, she began engaging in primary research aiming to understand methods necessary to encourage American high schoolers to participate in human rights advocacy, as well as serving as the Undersecretary-General of an annual model United Nations conference educating over 100 Maryland students on both international and interpersonal affairs.
In addition to activities fueled by Maria’s passion for global cultures, Maria enjoyed the ability to engage with her high school community by participating as Class Treasurer, captain of the varsity cheerleading team, a member of the mock trial and model UN team, the National Honor Society, the National Chinese Honor Society, a Chinese tutor, and a freshman mentor. Entering college as an honors international studies student, Maria hopes to seize opportunities to participate in similar activities, aiming to benefit her community.
After serving as a page in the Maryland General Assembly in early 2021, Maria began to intern for Maryland Senator Bailey, not only allowing her to learn of the important challenges facing Maryland, but also emphasizing the array of opportunities available to her state and its people.
Because of her international background, Maria is aware that many opportunities are only attainable in this country, with many being only available in Maryland. As Miss Maryland Teen USA, Maria hopes that through community service, engagement, and involvement, she will encourage women and girls across Maryland to confidently seize their opportunities. Maria is excited to represent Maryland at Miss Teen USA, and hopes to serve Maryland well through her reign.