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 Larisa Hovannisian.
Name: Larisa Hovannisian, CEO & Founder, Teach For Armenia
Larisa’s inspiration to provide all children in Armenia with an opportunity to attain an excellent education derived from her two-year experience as a Teach For America special education teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. Larisa was born in Yerevan to an Armenian mother and an Irish-American father. After living in two different continents and receiving a B.A. in International Business & Language Area Studies from St. Norbert College and M.A. in Special Education from Arizona State University, she moved back to Armenia in 2013 with a vision to start a program that would inspire and change every child’s life through education.
Together with Larisa’s passionate, entrepreneurial team, Teach For Armenia rapidly became one of the most successful educational organizations in Armenia to date, impacting over 5,700 students currently across the country. Overall, since its launch in 2013, Teach For Armenia has garnered the support of the Armenia’s Ministry of Education, principals, parents, students, leading Armenian universities, as well as private sector champions.
As the CEO and Founder of Teach For Armenia, Larisa believes that providing equal educational opportunities for all children in Armenian is at the core of unlocking her nation’s full potential and wellbeing. She considers her return to Armenia an opportunity to systemically impact and improve educational outcomes for Armenia’s most underserved students, as well as provide an opportunity for outstanding graduates from Armenia and the Armenian diaspora to contribute to significant and meaningful development in their homeland. For her contribution to the advancement of education equity in Armenia through her work with Teach For Armenia, Larisa was nationally awarded recognition by the Armenian Government in September 2016 and in February, 2018 was recognized “Repat of the Year” by the Ministry of Diaspora.
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