THRIVE is an AIWA-SF April project dedicated to highlighting Armenians who are doing amazing things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today we feature Arsen Hovhannisyan.
Name: Arsen Hovhannisyan, Four Seasons
Born in Vanadzor, Armenia, Arsen has had to thrive in many different places. After the devastating 1988, 6.8 magnitude earthquake, Arsen and his family had to move to St.-Petersburg, Russia, where they had family. After 10 years, in Russia, his parents decided it was time to move back to Armenia. He attended State Engineering University of Armenia and obtained a Bachelor Degree, with honors, in Economics and Management of Enterprises.
While studying in University he volunteered in with many youth organizations and focused on opportunities to develop Armenia. After graduating from University, he decided to take part in a European Voluntary Service program in Malaga, Spain and worked as a youth counselor with “Santa Maria de Los Angeles”. After one year of service, he returned to Armenia.
In 2012, he started working on a construction project of “United World Colleges (UWC) Dilijan” by a Russian company (RDCM) as a project coordinator. After successful completion of the project, he became an active member of UWC Armenia National Committee. He traveled throughout Armenia (especially the rural areas), including Nagorno-Karabakh diffusing information and doing presentations about the international college. The intention was to reach children to make them realize that education is within reach for them. Arsen shares, “It was so important for me to motivate and inspire Armenia’s youth and make them believe that there is hope and a beautiful future filled with many opportunities.”
In 2016, Arsen moved to Canada. A decision that was difficult for him to make because in many ways he would have to start over. Nonetheless, Arsen wanted to explore the world. He is as stellar example of how we can choose to thrive under any circumstance. “Life isn’t always as we plan it,” Arsen says, “the earthquake has forever changed my perspective on life and what it has to offer, I’m grateful everyday and will see the beauty in all things.”
His life philosophy comes from his mother who taught him to be open to any opportunity that comes along. Never be afraid to step out of my comfort zone. Never stop, never give up, as there is only one way – forward!
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