Mariam Sarrafan, Program Coordinator, Mentors & Mentorship Resources
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi (Persian poet)
Mariam joined Infinite Family in 2008 as a Video Mentor with her Net Buddy son, Sibusiso. Over the years, Sibu became part of Mariam’s family, with constant communication discussing Sibu’s goals and plans for his future, and how he can achieve them.
Two years ago, Mariam joined Infinite Family’s staff because she knows firsthand what 30 minutes a week, actively advocating and committing to the most vulnerable children in South Africa, can achieve. She has personally seen how Sibu has grown from a shy, temperamental, “unfocused” (as he puts it) youngster into a responsible, mature, and caring young man. Now he is the one who mentors others.
In her role, Mariam identifies and trains all individuals interested in becoming Video Mentors with Infinite Family. She supports new Video Mentors through the onboarding process until they are connected with their Net Buddy mentees.
Mariam’s goal is to see more and more (and more) teens matched with mentors all over the world. Mentors who guide them to build self-confidence, encourage them to think about and plan their future and show them that they are cared for and that they matter. Mariam hopes to see these teens turn their dreams into reality, growing into the best version of themselves and becoming leaders in their communities.
Mariam credits her cultural upbringing for fostering her passion for giving back and caring. She grew up in Europe and the Middle East, and has lived in the U.S. and Southeast Asia, raising her children to appreciate all the world has to offer. Mariam has volunteered her time for multiple causes, including caring for abused toddlers, fundraising for public schools, as well as building schools and bringing education to Cambodian children.
Mariam graduated from Purdue University with a Master’s degree in Education, a Bachelor of Arts in French Language & Literature, and a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Environmental Design. Mariam lives with her husband in New York City. Her children are spread across the world — her daughter is in Baton Rouge, her oldest son in San Francisco, and of course Sibu in SA!
“It’s your road, and yours alone – others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” – Rumi