Berea College Service Award Recipient Mam-Yassin Sarr To Be Recognized At Annual Service Convocation

The 2015 Berea College Service Award will be presented to Mam-Yassin Sarr on Thursday, March 26 at 3:00 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel, during the annual Berea College Service Convocation. The Berea College Service Award honors persons who in their daily lives and their service to humanity have exemplified Berea’s Great Commitments. The award honors practical service by persons in all walks of life. Ms. Sarr will also deliver the annual Service Convocation address, titled, “The role of service in the advancement of humanity.”

Mam-Yassin Sarr is the founder and director of Starfish International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance humanity through girls’ education and service-learning opportunities in The Gambia, West Africa.  The mission of Starfish International is to empower Gambian girls by providing them with an advanced education that is focused on service to humanity, while at the same time providing international service-learning opportunities for volunteers. Ms. Sarr has reflected on her own motivation to serve.

“Growing up in a society where the average family subsists on about $1 a day, I have always known that the only way out for the majority of the people would be education. I have also always felt that I had to be a part of the solution. Therefore, my academic and service life has been focused on practical ways to play my part.”

Ms. Sarr graduated from Berea College in 1998 with a degree in French and Sociology. She went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Murray State University in 2001. She is currently finishing a Certificate in Advanced Studies in Teaching and Curriculum at Syracuse University.

The Berea College Service Convocation is sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Learning through Service (CELTS) and the Willis D. Weatherford, Jr. Campus Christian Center. For more information, contact Ashley Cochrane, at 859-985-3605 or

Berea, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor, and service. Berea charges no tuition, admitting only academically promising students with limited economic resources, primarily from Appalachia. All students must work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, room and board. The College’s motto “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth, (Acts 17:26)” speaks to its inclusive character, and the quality of its programs ensures that graduates from Berea go on to distinguish themselves and the College in many fields.

Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Berea College Service Award, Convocation, Phelps Stokes Chapel, Starfish International

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.