Mariam Zohouri

Name: Mariam Zohouri
Program: Honours Bachelor of Arts, Major in Communications, Minor in English
Year of Graduation: 2017
Hometown: Thornhill (Greater Toronto Area)
Life Motto: Actions speak louder than words.

Her Campus uOttawa: What have you been doing this year?
Mariam Zo:
 I'm currently in school part-time, while working with an incredible social enterprise called Mealshare. We partner with local restaurants and charities on a mission to end youth hunger. So far we’ve provided over 1 million meals to youth in need, over 20,000 of which were in Ottawa. As you can imagine I spend a lot of time connecting with the most innovative, creative and generous community players in Ottawa’s restaurant industry, as well as working with charities like Operation Come Home and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. I’ve gone backpacking across Europe with one of my closest friends, and regularly go on trips with my boyfriend – be it to Montreal, Amsterdam or Mexico City, we’re lucky enough to have the means to see the world and we love exploring it.

HCuO: How were you involved on campus?
MZ: I was on the Marketing and Events team for HCuO, and with the support of then Marketing President Jessica Mastronardi, worked my way up to Vice-President of Sponsorship. I wrote a couple of articles for the Fulcrum as well. Most of my extra-curricular activities were off-campus, such as managing marketing for TiE Ottawa and being on the planning committee for their flagship conference, TiECon Canada. I’ve also worked with Public Relations powerhouse Sonya Shorey, who is today a good friend of mine.

HCuO: I heard you on the radio a few weeks ago, what were you promoting?
MZ: That’s exciting! I was on Unique FM with the fabulous Sheila Fournier to promote the Mealshare Fall Launch, where we announced the latest partners to join our roster of socially-conscious restaurants. She was a pleasure to speak with, and loved the impact our program was having on youth in need. Our story resonates with people who understand that youth hunger is a serious problem, and love how easy we make it for them to give back.

HCuO: How did you hear of Meal share and why did you want to be apart of it?
My former Her Campus team mate Andrea Faubert had attended Mealshare’s first launch in Ottawa this past summer, and tweeted some photos from the event. I was intrigued about the program, so I checked out Mealshare’s website and signed up for their newsletter. One day I receive one in my inbox where they were looking for a new Ottawa Community Leader. The rest is history!

HCuO: How can people help this program or be involved?
The easiest way for people to support Mealshare is to dine out at one of our partner restaurants and order a Mealshare item! From fine dining institutions, French bistro fare, award-winning Indian cuisine, killer breakfasts, vegetarian feasts to modern pub fare, we’ve got it all (you can check out our full list of restaurants here)! Also, spreading the word on social media is huge for us as well, since it raises awareness about the restaurants that are giving back to youth in need through our program, making it easier for socially-conscious consumers to turn their dining out into helping out. 

HCuO: Do you have any short-term goals?
Mealshare has an incredible event coming up called Tonight for Tomorrow on May 10th, where every dollar spent at a participating restaurant will go towards supporting Mealshare – guilt free dining out! My goal is to raise awareness about the amazing restaurants joining us for this event with the support of community leaders, elected city officials and members of the provincial and federal parliaments and to have as many of our fabulous, socially-conscious supporters commit to dining out at a TFT restaurant on May 10th!  

HCuO: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?    
MZ: Managing Mealshare’s steady growth in our country’s fabulous capital, supporting fellow organizations working towards ending youth hunger and building a stronger, safer community for everyone. In 5 years, I want to be able to look at my community and say “I’ve done something to make it even better.” To me, that means making sure our most vulnerable populations have the means to be the best possible versions of themselves, and to think of more than where their next meal is coming from. With the support of the amazing people and companies that have supported our mission from the start and the wonderful restaurants that have joined our family to give back to their communities, I’m confident we can make this a reality for Ottawa.  

Left to right : City Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Colleen Mooney, TV and radio personality Dylan Black, Executive Director of Operation Come Home Elspeth McKay, Director of Advancement for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa Jennifer Baca, City Councillor Jeff Leiper, Mealshare Ottawa & Montreal Community Leader Mariam Zohouri, City Councillor Tobi Nussbaum.

You can follow Mealshare journey on Twitter, Instagram  and Facebook.


Sources: Cover and group picture taken by Elie Ash