eTemp training on Proposal Writing
“Exchanges to Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program” (eTEMP) is a year-long program aiming to pair FLEX and US Government exchange programs alumni in order to promote entrepreneurship and business initiatives in Armenia. The Program also includes a series of trainings for mentees on various topics related to entrepreneurship.
The fifth training for mentees in the scopes of eTEMP took place at the American Councils Armenia office on January 24. The subject of the training was proposal writing. Karen Smith, the Country Director of American Councils Armenia was the speaker. Ms. Smith has over 10 years of experience working with civil society and government groups to develop successful proposals.
eTEMP mentees, as well as FLEX alumni interested in the topic were introduced to basic principles of writing effective proposals and had a chance to share their experiences with writing past proposals. Ms. Smith also shared her experiences and provided useful tips on engaging stakeholders, identifying community needs and learning from past projects. Moreover, participants learned the main steps of implementing social projects, such as, defining the problem, identifying solutions and making a plan.
Afterwards, participants were introduced to grant projects, applications of which are currently open. The session was followed by a discussion concerning the effective proposal writing and a Q&A session.
One of the things I miss a lot from Armenia now is CCC…
EducationUSA Armenia received an amazing letter from an alumni of Competitive College Club (CCC) currently studying at UWC-USA with 100% funding. In spring of 2014 Stella Tangiyan was a CCC participant. Now she is enthusiastically studying in the 2016 class of UWC-USA and is involved in several projects and extracurricular activities during her school year.
In her letter she writes:
“I’m writing from an amazing school UWC USA. As you know I’m here already for a whole semester and I’m loving it more and more.” Stella shared that in addition to attending lectures, she has been involved in extracurricular activities and has started writing a blog about her experiences. In March, Stella will travel with her school to Mexico to “see how people live there, learn about laws and live with people for a week”. Stella said that one thing she misses from Armenia is CCC! “I told about it here all my friends and sometimes I’m wearing my student of a month t-shirt. I think that CCC helped me a lot with my English and thanks to it I’m used to do volunteering. I think I was really lucky to have this wonderful opportunity. I hope CCC will go on for a long time and help a lot of people like it helped me.”
If you are interested in Competitive College Club, please, pre-register and we will keep you posted when the application opens.
Civic Education Week
We are happy to announce that 5 FLEX Participants from Armenia were selected to participate in the Civic Education Workshop in March 2015.
The (CEW) is a one-week program in Washington, D.C., for approximately 100 FLEX students. It is funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The program provides an opportunity for students to gain a better understanding of some of the key concepts and values that are an integral part of U.S. society and culture. Participants learn firsthand about the U.S. federal system of government and other important concepts through seminar discussions, briefings, and meetings on Capitol Hill.
Congratulations, Emma Antonyan, Elmira Ayvazyan, Aram Manukyan, Petros Mkheyan, Anahit Vardanyan!
We wish you all the best in the upcoming Workshop!
International Education Week celebrations by FLEX alumni
FLEX alumni in Armenia Celebrated International Education Week by conducting several events.
First was a lecture on diplomacy and leadership by one of the most admired American diplomats in Armenia, Ambassador John A. Heffern. Ambassador Heffern spoke about the profession of a diplomat. He shared with FLEX alumni what it feels like to be in Foreign Service for more than 30 years and what challenges he has faced during the mentioned period. Afterwards ambassador introduced alumni to his approach to leadership. He gave advice on how to be a good leader and succeed in the profession chosen. The final part of the speech of Mr. Heffern was concerning the importance of social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility in the development of Armenia.
The speech was followed by a questions and answers session, during which FLEX alumni had the opportunity to ask the ambassador questions they were interested in.
Second, was a seminar on the “Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry” internship program. Global Village alumni Mane Saroyan as well as other alumni of the mentioned program shared their experience with FLEX alumni. Mane provided alumni interested in the program with detailed information concerning the terms of admission as well as the timeline of the program.
Finally, the mid-program meeting of the “Exchanges to Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program” (eTEMP) looked at successes and opportunities for the year long mentoring program for FLEX alumni interested in launching various business and social projects. 20 pairs of mentors and mentees were formed for the program, which will work together on realizing their projects.
During the mid-program meeting, the Ambassador of the United States to Armenia John Heffern spoke to participants about the importance of mentorship. Four other speakers shared their experience of mentor-mentee cooperation with fellow alumni.
The speeches were followed by an evaluation session, during which participants were able to share their thoughts about the program and provide with feedback.
The mid-program meeting was a great opportunity for participants to network and share their ideas of entrepreneurial projects.
Making Innovations in Higher Education
Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) alumnus Armen Mkrtchyan is making innovations in higher education in Armenia. Because of his efforts, an on-line teaching method was introduced at the Yerevan State University for the first time in 2014 academic year. “Medical Ecology” subject was completely updated and adjusted in accordance with the international online course standards. Armen, Assistant Professor at the Department of Hygiene and Ecology, at the Yerevan State Medical University studied curriculum development and teaching methodology at the University of Kansas, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies through the JFDP program in 2012. For the last two years, he has been updating and developing new courses for his home university and this new course on Medical Ecology has been piloted since September. This innovative teaching approach has already got students’ high appraisal. Armen says that the experience gained through the JFDP experience at the University of Kansas was a key to the success of this on-line course.http://iterc.ysu.am/user/profile.php?id=55
JFDP Alumna Enterpreneur
After participation in the Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) in 2008 Armenuhi Khachatryan who then was lecturing “Food Organization in Tourism” at European Regional Academy has transitioned from theory teaching to practical teaching and in 2011 she was recognized by the Prime-minister of Armenia as a best woman investor of the year. Her accomplishments as an entrepreneur and manager are evident through her successes in operating the ”BlizzardCatering” Services for several years already. Armenuhi’s entrepreneurial mind and character pushed her further in her achievements and development of new business projects. She started negotiations and implementation of franchising projects with the famous brands such as MEXX and later Motivi. Her most recent initiative to open Lavazza Espression Coffee Shops in Yerevan is another accomplishment in her growing career success. The chain of Lavazza Espression Coffee Shops and Blizzard catering Services are one of the leaders in Armenian market. Armenuhi is a Director and Managing partner at both companies.
Celebration of the World Food Day
FLEX Alumni of Armenia celebrated the World Food Day in October. They prepared several events in the scopes of the mentioned day.
First Event was a challenge for alumni to live spending $1.25 or AMD500 per day on food. That is the average daily income for one billion people in the world. This idea originated in California two years ago when four students decided to go to rural Guatemala for 56 days to try living on exactly $56 each. “You do not feel how hard it is to live a day spending only AMD500 until you actually do it, and that is how much one billion people gain in the world” Said Shushan, one of the participants of the challenge.
The second initiative alumni conducted was a food drive for homeless. Various types of food were donated, such as macaroni, rice and lentil. Alumni donated themselves and also encouraged their friends and relatives to participate in the event. Other than donating food many participants brought clothes and shoes for donating as well. According to the participants “Everybody should express social responsibility in any way, doesn’t matter if it’s by donating food or helping an old woman cross the street”.
The food collected was donated to the “Hans Christian Cofoed” shelter for homeless. FLEX alumni visited the shelter and cooked a meal for the people in there using the food they had gathered during the food drive. Approximately one hundred people were able to have lunch prepared and served by FLEX alumni. The clothes gathered were also donated to “Hans Christian Cofoed” charitable foundation for giving to homeless.