Mariam is from Mali, West Africa, and she moved to Charlotte in 2015 from the West Broncs. She and her husband have three daughters and wanted to move to a place that would be safer for all of them. Her youngest daughter, Aicha, was born with a rare structural deformity that caused her urine to drain back into her body. At 4 years old, she has already had 16 surgeries and will probably need more in the future. Mariam is proud of Aicha’s strength and is hopeful that she’ll be able to persevere through all her necessary surgeries. After her pregnancy, Mariam suffered from depression, weight gain and alopecia, which caused her to lose 80% of her hair. She was determined to move forward, so she joined Gold’s Gym and changed her diet. She has always loved cooking, so this gave her an outlet for her depression, as well as a way to become healthier. In addition to her master’s degree in Business Administration, she also earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science during this time. Mariam and her husband are in the process of opening their own restaurant, “Tima’s West African Restaurant” on the Plaza. She looks forward to applying the skills she learned at CCSC to her new restaurant.