On July 2014, ASPB has been invited to appear as a guest speaker in front of 54 Armenian students enrolled in the Access English Microscholarship Program spearheaded by Armenia’s PH International. Throughout July 22-25, 54 high students and their teachers from 3 regional towns of Armenia, Nor Hachn, Dilijan and Chambarak, the three program sites, got together with the Armenia’s HP International Program Manager and the support facilitators including the English instructors in a central camp in Aghveran, a regional resort complex, to participate in an intensive English language summer camps organized within the two-year English Access Microscholarship Program.
The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) lays a foundation of English language skills to talented 13-20 year-olds from economically disadvantaged sectors and fosters skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Participants also gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States.
Having begun the program in September of 2012, with little to no competence of English, the students became actively engaged in different English sessions related to leadership, youth role in movements for social change, on career choices, on cross-cultural differences between Americans and Armenians, on environmental issues, on crowd-sourcing, etc. Overall the program aimed at widening their general horizon and fostering personal growth through interaction with established leaders from various social spheres, including Environmental sciences. This target was “fulfilled” by co-founder of the Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds Luba Balyan who introduced the ten years’ achievements of BirdLife partner in Armenia in the field of bird conservation and talked how research and direct conservation measure scan help rescue endangered species.
The students were impressed with ASPB’s record of successful conservation work and their dedication and love of wildlife. After Luba’s PowerPoint presentation which showcased some real-life cases of wildlife protection in Armenia, students asked a lot of questions about the Society’s wonderful work and expressed a will to join ASPB’s membership. Luba’s enthusiastic speech inspired the students and reinforced students’ belief that one person can really change things with their ideas and commitment to a certain social cause.
ASPB extends special thanks to PH-International in Armenia, especially the Country Program Director Mariam Martirosyan for such an interesting opportunity to participate in the program.