This quarter was filled with a touch of pleasant hustle and bustle in Ayb Club the members of which had gathered in Armenia from various corners of the world. For the first time this year, four of them participated in the three-day Ayb Club events. They were businessman and owner of ProfHolod Company Artur Alaverdyan, Founder and President of International Food Technologies LTD Arthur Tovmasyan, Founder of Nor Zovk stores network Aram Aramyan and Consultant at McKinsey & Company Suren Harutyunyan.
Since its establishment, the Club has had a fivefold increase in its membership, and today it includes 44 members united around the same cause, from various corners of the world, who constantly support the Ayb projects and ensure their vitality and development.
Ayb Mentorship Program
Ayb Mentorship Program is one of cornerstones of Ayb Club’s areas of work. The program aims to mold an educated and virtuous generation of young people, create a solid chain of mutual help between the generations and support the Ayb Club members as mentors in transmitting moral values to coming generations through personal examples, messages and deeds, thus contributing to the development and self-realization of mentees. All Ayb School alumni become mentees under the Ayb Mentorship Program and proceed along this turning stage of their life (until 25) under the auspices of Ayb Club members.
Activities carried out over April-June period
- In June-April, the Mentorship Program Committee had two meetings (online and offline) to discuss the program strategy, ongoing activities as well as prospects for the development of Ayb Alumni Club.
It should be noted that six Ayb Club members are involved in the Mentorhsip Program Committee: They are Armine Arustamyan, Arsen Mamikonyan, Ashot Mkrtchyan, Areg Zakoyan, Arthur Berd and Levon Frnjibashyan.
- In May-June, 12th graders from Ayb High School were introduced to Ayb Mentorship Program and were given options for further contact with the Ayb Community. These meetings were organized within the framework of the Ayb Mentorship Program.
- On June 2, the 12th graders and their parents had a meeting with Chairman of the Ayb Club Board Artashes Shirikyan and Head of Ayb School Aram Pakhchanyan to get a broader idea of the Mentorship Program.
- On June 9, the matching of 2017 mentors and mentees was held. For the first time, Ayb School alumni from previous years were also present at the matching as observers.
- At the solemn ceremony of the Mentorship Program that followed the Ayb High School graduation event on June 24, the mentors who are Ayb Club members got to know their mentees. (Read more on this in the three-day Ayb Club events part).
Meetings within the framework of the Ayb Mentorship Program
During this quarter, Ayb School students and alumni had two meetings with Ayb Club members, Suren Harutyunyan and Artur Janibekyan.
Meeting with Suren Harutyunyan
On May 3, as part of Thinking Skills course, Suren Harutyunyan, member of Ayb Club, consultant at McKinsey & Company office in Russia, had a highly interesting meeting with Ayb School 10th graders. During the practical class on communication skills, Suren Harutynuyan and the 10th graders spoke about how to build the right oral and written speech, how to more accurately and appropriately express their thoughts, etc.
Meeting with Artur Janibekyan
On May 11, Ayb School hosted a master class by one of the most anticipated guests for school children – Artur Janibekyan – member of Ayb Club, Head of Gazprom Media Holding JSC (sub-holding of entertainment channels), Founder of Comedy Club Production and co-founder of the New Armenians KVN (Club of the Funny and Inventive) team.
During the meeting, Mr. Janibekyan spoke about the creation of television, how it looks from the inside, how it affects the society and how it “carries on” in the age of the Internet.
It should be noted that within the framework of the Ayb Mentorship Program, Ayb School students also have regular meetings with Ayb School alumni. In January, Ayb High School students had a meeting with our alumni studying at the University of California, Berkeley, who spoke about the university admission process and their life in a new country, and in March, they had a meeting with our alumnus currently studying at the University of California, San Diego, who talked about UX (user experience) design. (Read more on the meetings here.)
Ayb Alumni Club
The Ayb Alumni Club was founded in 2013 by the first Ayb School alumni who implemented a number of interesting initiatives for their younger friends. The initiatives include the opening of the Souvenir Shop, the Cool Summer and Cool Fall programs during which they delivered classes for younger students.
Over time, the list of initiatives was enriched by other programs (sports games, movie watching) offered by the new generations of alumni. That was the active period of the club’s work; however, over time it ceased its activity. But, considering the increasing number of Ayb High School alumni, the need for bringing them all together sprang up.
The Ayb Alumni Club gained new momentum in March 2017 resuming its work in a more coordinated way and with a clear outline of the main vectors of work planned in the initial stage:
- definition of the structure of Ayb Alumni Club and internal mechanisms of its work,
- the involvement of Ayb alumni in various Ayb projects, and
- joint work, from individual/team projects to groups based on interests.
The alumni decided to start from steps that would eventually foster the development of horizontal mentorship system. On May 13, alumni from the past four years of Ayb School and current students studying in the 8th through 12th grades came together in Ayb School for AybFest, one of the friendliest initiatives of the members of the Ayb Alumni Club. The event aimed to strengthen ties between all Ayb generations.
At the event, which was marked by concerts and games, the alumni presented the reason behind establishing the Ayb Alumni Club, the Club’s areas of work, goals and upcoming projects. They showed short videos telling about why they got involved in the Alumni Club and what they highlight within the framework of their initiative.
The day concluded with merry songs and dances around the fire that multiplied the enthusiasm and high spirits of the participants.
Ayb Club three-day events
From June 23 to 25, Ayb Club members came to Armenia from various corners of the world (USA, Russia, UK and Cyprus) to attend the traditional three-day events of Ayb Club.
The event program was saturated and included working sessions, family gatherings, and public events.
During the working sessions, Ayb Club members discussed important issues related to Ayb’s strategy and operational management. In addition to that, they participated in amicable gatherings, including a visit to Megeryan Carpets, a hand-woven carpets factory, where they got to know about the restoration of old carpets and their manufacturing. The tour in the carpet factory was followed by an open dance class organized by the National Song and Dance Academy, which had the Club members learn and dance several national dances on the spot. The dance class was delivered by Gagik Ginosyan, artistic director of the Karin Traditional Song and Dance Ensemble.
The Ayb Club members also took part in the most anticipated and touching events of this year –- the graduation event of Ayb School and the solemn ceremony of the Ayb Mentorship Program.
The graduation event was held on June 24 and was accompanied by the beautiful ceremonial part ––messages by the Ayb Community, touching speeches by the Alumnus of the Year honorees and handover of this honorary title to the next generation, solemn handover of Ayb High School graduation diplomas and Ayb Mentorship Program Certificates and, of course, performances by Ayb Choir and the traditional round dance of Ayb Club members and alumni.
Ayb Club members, among them Head of Ayb School Aram Pakhchanyan, member of the Ayb Educational Foundation’s Board of Trustees Davit Pakhchanyan and Chairman of the Board of Ayb Club Artashes Shirikyan delivered moving yet highly encouraging speeches. Aram Pakhchanyan urged the alumni to always follow their dreams and firmly face the world and challenges. “Fly high and confidently, and chase your dreams!” said Aram Pakhchanyan.
Speaking about freedom, responsibility and dreams, Davit Pakhchanyan highlighted the importance of starting something together and reminded those present of how the Ayb movement began. “You can achieve high results with the community and friends and that’s what I wish you,” said Davit Pakhchanyan. In his turn, Artashes Shirikyan focused on the future path of the alumni, their involvement in the Ayb Mentorship Program and the Ayb Alumni Club, urging them to carry out patriotic activity wherever they are. “Wherever you are, keep the Armenian flag high and after fulfilling your dreams serve your friends, school, city, and country. Only that way you will be able to build a motherland you will be proud of,” he said.
The heroes of the day added to the traditions of the graduation event by addressing their candid words of gratitude to Ayb donors’ community. They had also prepared a video to thank them for the chance to study in Ayb and for supporting Ayb.
Another thing that spurred excitement and thrill among those present was the video report of the 2016-2017 academic year in Ayb. The video is available here.
The event was followed by the solemn ceremony of the Ayb Mentorship Program, during which the alumni received their symbolic pendants, heard their elder friends telling about their experience within the framework of the program, and got acquainted with their mentors.
For the first time this year, the mentors and mentees discussed the idea behind the mentorship program, the mission of the Ayb Club and Ayb School with a focus on issues representing high importance for them. During the discussion, both the alumni and the mentors asked questions each other by casting a look back at their path in Ayb. This Q&A established a climate of excitement and warmth in the hall — a number of questions that were highly interesting for both the alumni and the mentors received answers, thus building a stronger bond between them.
This excitement grew into a song and dance when Ayb Club member Suren Harutyunyan approached the piano of his own accord and started playing it. Ayb Club member Arsen Galstyan, alumnus Margarita Parsamyan and the rest of the guests also joined him.
After the self-driven “concert,” all the guests came around the festive dinner to congratulate the 2017 alumni once again.
On June 25, Ayb School hosted the first conference held under the theme “The Present and Future of Armenia: Education, Science, Business,” which aims to lay a ground for practical and educational discussion and communication between Ayb Club members and Ayb alumni of all years.
During the conference, Fr. Mesrop Aramian and Arthur Alaverdyan spoke about such large-scale projects carried out in the field of education and science as the Araratian Baccalaureate and the FAST Foundation.
Aram Pakhchanyan offered the participants to ponder over the role of their own initiatives and startups in Armenia, inviting Yulia Danielyan, Manuk Hergnyan and Arthur Alaverdyan as speakers of panel discussions. Focusing on current global developments, Levon Frnjibashyan and the young people spoke about the peculiarities of life and education in the USA. Afterwards, the participants were offered to choose between two parallel practical trainings — the first was held focused on competitiveness and was delivered by Manuk Hergnyan, and the second focused on problem-solving and was delivered by Suren Harutyunyan.
One of the goals of the Mentorship Program is to create a favorable ground for the creative cooperation of Ayb Club members and Ayb School alumni. The conference also served as a platform for mentors and their mentees to present their experience of their joint work in business, while the Ayb alumni presented the Ayb Alumni Club, its goals, programs, and development prospects.
At the end of the conference, Ayb Club member Arsen Mamikonyan who embarked on his path with Ayb in 2007, presented his experience — how he turned from a graduate of Ayb’s intensive subject courses into an Ayb Club member, after which Chairman of the Board of Ayb Club Artashes Shirikyan awarded Arsen Mamikonyan the latter’s nominal pendant. Thus, Arsen Mamikonyan is the first graduate of the Ayb programs that is also an Ayb Club member.
With this beautiful episode, the three-day events concluded.