Lily Zafran

Customer Success Manager
A bit about Lily...

I work to build communities, lift people up, and help them accomplish whatever they set their minds to. This passion was sparked when I began working at a community center in high school. There, I learned alongside a diverse group of people from all walks of life, and I realized the value of informal education. In college, I sought out projects that brought people together. When the pandemic hit, I launched a campus-wide design challenge to foster student connection, and I designed an interactive platform to reimagine people’s experience attending live, virtual stand-up comedy shows. After graduating, I pursued my love of travel and education by moving to Madrid, Spain, to teach English at a primary school. I am energized by supporting different groups of learners, including elementary school students, rural entrepreneurs, and individuals who are incarcerated. Now, I’m excited to support students in their educational journeys and help them discover, explore, and pursue their passions. Things that bring me joy: reading in my hammock, hiking, the ingenuity of backpacking gear, practicing yoga, post-it notes, and charcuterie boards.

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What piece of advice would you give parents with unengaged students?

Allow your kids to explore their interests and hobbies, old and new, and discover what captivates them. Encourage their curiosity and let them develop the agency to pursue what excites them. They’ll experience how energizing and rewarding it can be to put care and effort into something, and hopefully, this feeling will translate into the classroom and beyond. 

What was the most surprising part of the college experience for you?

You have a lot of free time outside of class in college. I was surprised by how daunting it was to fill my time. There are so many clubs to choose from, and I felt pressure to join clubs that would look good on my resume rather than spend time doing things I enjoyed. This mindset led me to turn something exciting into something stressful. At first, I felt like I was wasting my time hiking, hammocking, and exploring Boulder with friends. In reality, I was still gaining new experiences and learning from new and interesting people. 

Why is passion so important as it pertains to learning?

Passion motivates you and helps you find a sense of purpose and meaning. It fuels you to continue despite challenges and failures. Passion is contagious, and connecting with and learning from others who share your passions fosters a love of learning. 

What kind of impact would you like Curious Cardinals to have?

I want students to feel empowered to take ownership of their learning and find meaning, purpose, and joy in doing so. I would like for students to feel genuinely understood, supported, inspired, and excited!