The parents of Sabika Sheikh, an exchange student from Pakistan who was killed in a fatal mass shooting in Texas two years ago, have created a foundation to honour her by giving university scholarships to low-income Pakistani women, according to a report in The Houston Chronicle.

17-year-old Sabika was among the 10 people murdered in the attack at Santa Fe High School near Houston, Texas. Thirteen others were wounded.

“I’m always worried that we might forget (Sabika),” Farah Naz, the mother, told The Houston Chronicle during a Zoom interview with the family. “But starting this foundation I know this is impossible. I know if I continue working with the foundation, she will always be with me.”


The foundation is a partnership between the Sheikh family and several nonprofit organisations. ACIE, the American Institute for Foreign Study and the International Education and Resource Network are providing a seed grant of $300,000 to establish the foundation.

Naz, Sabika’s mother, said that ACIE representatives approached the family prior to the coronavirus pandemic with the idea of honouring Sabika’s legacy through an educational foundation. While the pandemic presented some obstacles in getting the organisation off the ground, in part because the academic year in Pakistan was postponed, the hope is that the foundation will be prepared to give out scholarships whenever Pakistani schools reopen.

The Sheikh family said the scope of the foundation will target scholarships for universities in Pakistan for now, but will eventually expand to offering exchange opportunities for American schools “so that the connection and ties” with the United States continue, said Sania Sheikh, Sabika’s sister.

The new foundation will be led by a board of directors including representatives from the Sheikh family as well as four independent directors selected by the family in consultation with the partnering organisations.