Amalya Yeghoyan was only four years old when the earthquake destroyed her native city of Gyumri, causing widespread devastation, including the destruction of her family’s home. Amalya does not like to recall the cold and dark years of the 1990s. Her family had to find shelter in her grandparents’ home and during this time she was plagued with vision problems. She worked hard at her studies nevertheless and made great academic progress. Eventually, she fell in love with English and decided to pursue that subject. Amalya entered Yerevan State University’s English Department and also studied in its faculty of Romano-German philology. Yet, Amalya had to eventually return to Gyumri due to Yerevan’s high living expenses.
After getting involved in volunteer activities, Amalya was accepted into Gyumri State Pedagogical University’s Department of Foreign Languages. Unable to afford the tuition fee, she received support from Gyumri’s Mayor Vardan Ghukasyan after applying for a scholarship and covered the rest of her tuition by working as a translator for several local companies. During her second year at university, she married and had her daughter, Hasmik, now 6.
Amalya was in her senior year when she learned about GTech and headed to the office for an interview for the educational programs coordinator position. “I will never forget the day I received an invitation — it was April 2, 2007,” she said. She has been working at GTech ever since. Six months after starting, she became the director of educational programs in 2009. In 2010, she became executive director.
“Everything I have achieved in my life is a result of my own diligence,” Amalya said. “I always love to set goals and reach my destination. I’ve faced many obstacles, of course, but I always overcame the difficulties.”
Today, Amalya considers GTech to be her second home. After six years, 82 students have graduated from the technology school. Thirty-seven graduates have found work in Gyumri, and 17 have done so in Yerevan. One has found work abroad. GTech has helped to boost development in the region, providing incubation to start up businesses and new skills to eager students. “GTech is changing Gyumri’s Future,” she said.
FAR, in partnership with several technology companies, created GTech in 2005 with the goal of broadening the skills of young Armenians and expanding opportunities in the region. GTech also helps to bolster development by providing an incubator space for new start up IT businesses.