“It felt like a support system at a time when I had no local support system,” said Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready) Parent Liaison Sanaa Sharrieff about the Guilford Parent Leader Network – her first connection to the organization. “When I moved to High Point, I didn’t know anyone. Learning about volunteer efforts, parent support efforts, and agencies in the community helped me realize the concept of parent voice. And it also developed into a career pathway.”
As a Parent Liaison, Sharrieff creates and sustains bridges between parent leader voices in the GPLN and community support. She joined Ready Ready as a staff member in 2022 after several years in leadership roles in the GPLN and a seat on the national Parent Leader Network steering committee.
“Now I connect with the parent leaders in the GPLN from a different perspective, in a way that said ‘Well, hey, there’s more for you here. Let me bring you along into this space of empowerment.’ Parents already have power, but now I can help show them how they can use their power even more from an organizational perspective,” Sharrieff said.
Mentoring parents into leadership is an aspect of her role at Ready Ready that really resonates with Sharrieff. She is a Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) facilitator and peer parent trainer. She has guided parent leaders through COFI Phase I (self, family & team building) and COFI Phase II (community outreach and action) phases. The COFI way develops leaders and helps parents build organizations that make a real difference in the community, according to the organization.
Sharrieff is also the parent of eight-year-old twins, a 19-year-old, and a 22-year-old. “My older children have left the nest and are creating lives of their own,” Sharrieff said. “My twins are these robust, rambunctious, highly energetic, very intelligent children who keep me on my toes.”
In between her parent leadership role at work, and parenting at home, Sharrieff has a variety of other interests and hobbies. “As Queen Sanaa, I’m a singer, a spoken word artist, and a rap artist with music on all streaming platforms. I’m also a fashion designer with a clothing line,” she said.
Sharrieff has also ventured into podcasting. “Because I was part of the national Parent Leadership Network, I became a co-host of season two of The New Neighborhood Podcast from the Center for the Study of Social Policy,” she said. Sharrieff enjoyed the experience so much that she started her own podcast.
“We discuss topics like the psychology of abuse, the Five Love Languages, or the eight different types of love,” Sharrieff said.