SHE LEADS is a month-long blog series highlighting the voices of some of iACT's amazing female leaders from across the globe. You’ll hear from soccer coaches, education directors, and program coordinators as they discuss the impact of displacement on their lives and the power women hold as leaders in their communities.
Academy Coach, Armenia
I am Mariam Petrosyan from Gyurmi and I am the first female soccer player in my city. I have loved and have been playing football since childhood. The love for football was instilled by my father, who was also a football coach. After training and overcoming difficult trials, I now play in the Mountainous Artsakh (Lernayin-Artsakh) team and in the Women’s Football League of Armenia. At the same time, I am also training children, which is my favorite thing to do.
What is something in your week that brings you joy?
My favorite days of the week are training with the kids because they fill my day with fun and joy.
Why did you choose to become a soccer coach with iACT & GOALS?
Becoming a football coach has been my dream for a long time, and thanks to iACT and GOALS, my dream came true.
What is your favorite thing about coaching young girls in soccer?
When it comes to training girls, I like to motivate them with my experience and diligence.
What has the conflict in Armenia meant for you as a woman?
The Armenian conflict is a big experience that strengthens you and makes you wiser for future decisions.
What does it mean to you as a woman to be a leader in your community?
Some of the important features that I would like to mention is the wish to motivate, give strength, and confidence to the children, never to discourage a child’s desire to learn regardless of their skills and to always tell them that they can, thus sowing kindness and leadership skills in them.
What qualities do you think make women good leaders?
I think that women are more ambitious and hard working in achieving their goals and have a bigger power when it comes to educating and training children.
Why is it important for women to be leaders in their communities?
I think that it’s important for women to be leaders because they can get along with children better because it is women who are bestowed with the joy of motherhood.
Who is a woman that inspired you in your life?
I have always been inspired by my mother because she has always witnessed my ups and downs and it is with her help that I have overcome many difficulties. That’s why I am so thankful to God that she is my mother.
What advice would you give young girls in your community?
I would advise the young girls of my community to never give up on the path that leads them to their goal, regardless of how difficult it is and regardless of how impossible it seems. By overcoming ourselves, we will achieve our goals. And don’t be afraid of dreaming because dreams have the ability of coming true.