As we celebrate 25 years of USAID’s mission in Armenia, we explore the organization’s early focus on humanitarian assistance in Armenia, from the 1988 earthquake to the difficult post-independence period. In the first of three podcasts on USAID’s legacy in Armenia, we are at the Gyumri American Corner talking with Armen Varosyan, currently with the Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development, who talks about his experience in USAID’s efforts to move residents of Gyumri out of domiks and into permanent homes.
Not all volunteerism and community service is done by individuals. Christoph Speck, general manager of Coca-Cola HBC Armenia, talks about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and why companies like Coca-Cola think it pays to give back to the community. He talks about how CSR helps build a company’s values, giving its employees a shared goal that brings them together.
As Peace Corps celebrates its 25th year in Armenia, Gina Grotelueschen, director of programming and training at Peace Corps Armenia, talks to a group of Peace Corps Volunteers serving in Armenia about their experiences and the community involvement, NGO support, and volunteerism they bring to the country.
In our first podcast from the Vanadzor American Corner, we talk to Taguhi Kharatyan, volunteer program coordinator for the Dilijan Community Center. She speaks about how volunteering helped her develop as a professional and how she is now working with Dilijan’s youth to develop a spirit of volunteerism aimed at helping their community grow.
Aram Ter-Zakaryan, a 2004 alum of the Muskie exchange program who currently works as the environmental manager of UNDP Armenia, talks about his experience studying at Ball State University in Indiana and how he uses what he learned in his post at the UN. He describes the perceptions people have of environmentalism while highlighting the importance of addressing such issues sooner rather than later.
Nune Harutyunyan, director of the Regional Environmental Center for Caucasus, talks about how businesses, governments, and individuals can win by following environmental practices. She stresses that environmental protection doesn’t just cost money, but can actually make businesses profit if done right.
An alumnus of the U.S. Government’s Fulbright Program, Ruben Mirakyan returned to Armenia with new ideas, skills, and passions. Dr. Mirakyan’s time at UC Santa Barbara as a Fulbright Scholar allowed him to explore in-depth the topic of religious diversity [and to study a minority religion in a diverse country.]. The university’s religious studies department was the perfect match for Dr. Mirakyan’s scholarly interests.An associate professor in Yerevan State University’s Department of Arabic Studies, he also co-founded the Armenian eBooks Initiative, which already has digitized 60 books. Learn about his Fulbright experience and how his time in the U.S. deepened his academic expertise and gave him the chance to share his Armenian heritage with his host university.
Long-time English teacher Hripsime Khanzadyan talks about the educator who inspired her to be a teacher, how she tries to customize her classrooms to maximize student success, and her latest efforts serving as a mentor for new teachers participating in Teach for Armenia. “English gives you wings,” she said. “If you know English you can fly wherever you want.”
Magda Markosyan, founder and CEO of Marog Creative Agency, talks about how her involvement in the FLEX high school exchange program and time spent in the U.S. helped her start her own marketing firm. And she shares her “Three P’s of Success:” passion, patience, and pro-activeness.
Arina Zohrabian, director of admissions for the American University of Armenia, talks about the importance optimism and the ability to take risks can play as you find your path in life.