By: Lilit Yenokyan
Featured Father: Aghasi Yenokyan || Journalist, Go-Getter, Mentor, Husband, Father, Grandfather
I would like to dedicate this feature to the best father and grandfather I know, my father – Aghasi Yenokyan.
My dad is my lifelong mentor, friend, confidant and my biggest cheerleader. He often believed in me more than I did myself. When I was applying for college he strongly advocated that I chose the one of the most challenging professions and hardest to get into department of Applied Math (Computer Science) at Yerevan State University. Few years later, when presented an opportunity to attend University of Michigan and leave my family, friends and anything that was familiar for the unknown of a new country, he encouraged me to pursue it. Most recently, when I was thinking to leave my safe and reliable job for an exciting self-development opportunity at a startup, my dad was the biggest advocate for taking the risk.
Aghasi is one of the most optimistic, decisive and trusting people I know. He welcomes life’s challenges and makes them into opportunities. When Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, he realized that making a living as a professor was no longer an option. At that time he temporarily quit teaching, leaving his job as physics professor at Polytechnic institute to pick up new skills that would be relevant in the time of change in Armenia. He learned English, got his MBA degree from American University of Armenia, and contributed as a journalist at local newspapers. In 1996 he attending training in International Relations at Chicago University, to return and establish a new curriculum and teach at Yerevan State University for over 20 years. My dad also started a successful media agency and led Yerevan office of Radio Free Europe.
In 2017 he undertook a brand new challenge, of moving cross-continents to USA with my mom, to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Today, close to 60, my dad has more energy and optimism than so many 20 year olds. Last year he mastered new skills including operating a camera and video editing, and started to freelance for Voice of Armenia. Through the years, I knew that I could discuss any topic with my dad, ranging from advanced calculus to recent political developments in any part of the world.
My dad’s ultimate passion in life, however, are his grandchildren – Ella and Alex. He makes breakfast for the grandkids daily and packs their school meal, while everyone is busy getting ready for the day.
Dad, thank you for sharing your lifelong passion of learning, optimism and work ethic with us. I love you.
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