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The teen mentor: A dispatch from Gurgen Adamyan



As 16 years old Gurgen Adamyan steps into the office, he greets his colleagues with a handshake before heading to what's affectionately known as his "child room." This space earned its name from the times when Gurgen would finish school around 4:00 pm and retreat to his small office adjacent to the main room, delving into his daily tasks.


Among his coworkers, Gurgen stands out as the youngest, and yet, he holds the distinction of being the youngest mentor at Elmasys. He guides Erik Kokobelyan, a 23-year-old mentee who joined the team after completing the same course as Gurgen: a 6-month web program training through the USAID-funded Armenia Workforce Development Activity in November 2023.


Since childhood, Gurgen has been dismantling computer hardware out of sheer curiosity, much to the chagrin of his father, who happened to be an engineer. "My dad didn't get mad," Gurgen recalls with a gentle smile. "He's an engineer too, so we were on the same page." When the training announcement caught his attention in 2022, he applied, surprising both himself and his family.



The training proved transformative for Gurgen, who mastered Java Script, PHP, HTML, CSS, and SQL under the guidance of industry professionals. Immediately after completing the course, he received a job offer from the newly established Elmasys company in Ijevan.


Under Gurgen's mentorship and support, Erik and he are currently developing a software solution for audit, inspection, and monitoring of food safety throughout Armenia.


The training not only equipped Gurgen with technical skills but also fostered a mindset of an algorithmic engineer. It enhanced his analytical thinking, time management, discipline, and communication skills.


"Moreover, at my age, I manage my finances independently and never ask my dad for pocket money," Gurgen proudly notes. "When older experts in the field commend me as a young professional, it fills me with pride, but I remain humble. I love my job and profession, and my greatest goal is to serve my country. To me, the country is the cornerstone that empowers individuals to become self-reliant," he concludes with conviction.


Launched in October 2021, Armenia Workforce Development Activity is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) and consortium partners, including the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) Foundation, Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) and Civitta Armenia. The Activity aims to equip 10,000 young people at the age of 15-29 in all provinces of Armenia with working skills, highly demanded in the labor market and ensure 7,000 have better employment opportunities in the fields of ICT/high-tech, agriculture and hospitality.



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