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 Satineh Kassarjian
Satineh Kassarjian was born in San Francisco in 2003 and moved to Armenia before she
turned 5. This move has shaped who she is as an Armenian and an American. She feels blessed to be comfortable in both countries and societies. In addition to school and after-school activities, Satineh is most proud of the volunteering she has done for several events in Armenia. At the age of 8 years she started as a junior executive assistant at ReAnimania, Armenia’s first and only international animation festival. At 13, she volunteered for TEDx Yerevan. Last year, she volunteered for the first ever Yerevan Bikeathon whose main goal was to promote a healthy lifestyle. In 2019, Satineh was a volunteer for WCIT, a global IT forum which took place in Armenia.
Question: How do you approach things?
Some ideas which have shaped my life so far: I’ve always looked forward to trying new things and taking part in activities that have been out of my comfort zone. I believe I am an independent person, which might make it hard to work with me, but it does have its benefits. It might be hard because if I am given a certain task I will complete it in my own way, with my own strategies and visions. The bright side is that I am flexible enough to think on my feet and make my own decisions without waiting for constant guidance. During my volunteering work I always focus on what needs to be done and I’m not afraid to ask others to do what It takes to have the best outcomes.
Volunteering has been a very important learning experience for me. My favorite thing about volunteering for events has to be being a part of the preparation and everything that happens behind the scenes, because there is something satisfying in seeing all the hard work you put in come together and turn out to be something beautiful. Even though the process of planning and preparation can be very nerve-racking the memory that sticks with you and the guests of the event certainly has to be the event itself.
Question: What is your hope for the future?
I really do hope that I can take part in more amazing events and maybe even organize events of my own. One preference would be that those events take place in Armenia. Armenia has developed so much in the past few years and the progress it has made needs to be more acknowledged. I aspire to be someone that other people can look up to and I wish to be involved in even more international events and travel to different countries for some of those events.
Question: How has Armenian culture shaped/ influenced you?
If I had not moved to Armenia, I would have had a completely different perspective on life. Being Armenian means being unable to avoid the fact that you need to be extraordinary to be noticed because not a lot of people know about Armenia or Armenians. Living in Armenia has also given me the opportunity to have amazing experiences at a young age. For example, at WCIT2019, I was the personal assistant for two very inspiring VIP speakers – Garik Israelyan and Lusine Yeghiazaryan. I was responsible for their entire schedules during the conference, and to make sure that they got to where they needed to be, and to help them balance professional and personal responsibilities during their short trip to Armenia. It was also an opportunity to learn about how very successful professionals manage their time, interactions with others, and how they present.
This is one example of many that I have been lucky enough to have experienced in the time that I’ve lived in Armenia. There are so many opportunities for young people like me. There are always different organizations who are looking for volunteers starting from very young age groups. I am positive that even though there are a lot of opportunities in America I do not think I would have been exposed to as much of a variety as I was while living in Armenia.