Shushanik is one of the Ayb graduates who studied with the support from the High School Scholarship Fund and now partakes, with her monthly donations, in ensuring quality education for the children from Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora. This year, Shushanik will graduate from the Department of Sociology of the University of California, Los Angeles, while pursuing her studies at Cambridge University as well. Owing to her excellent academic performance, she receives financial aid from the university to fully cover her tuition.
“If you want to study and have high academic performance but cannot pay for your studies, they help you in the same way as they do in Ayb.”
In parallel with her studies, Shushanik works at Los Angeles Municipality as an assistant accountant. “Well, before I got enrolled at Ayb I would have imagined studying at the UCLA as the least possible option for me. However, Ayb gave me the chance and willpower to think big and to go after my dreams. I remember my mom encouraging me to try and apply to Ayb. I did and got in. We couldn’t afford the tuition fee, so we decided to apply for a scholarship. If it weren’t for Ayb Scholarship Fund, I wouldn’t be studying here now, let alone even thinking about pursuing my education abroad or dreaming big!” Shushanik says.
“It so happened that we moved to the US with my family. When you move to a big city from a small one, everything seems hard and different, so you have to try to live on, survive and overcome everything. I had an advantage back then; I already knew English. When you know the language, everything seems much easier and you can even resolve your issues on your own. I was the only one who knew English in my family, and if it weren’t for Ayb, I and the UCLA wouldn’t have met. Seriously though, it was in Ayb where I gained this aspiration and passion for learning. Before I moved to the US, I was already contemplating the possibility of applying to international universities. I had done some research on the university system in England, but my plans somewhat changed as we came here. Education has always been a top priority in our family; it has no other alternatives.”
“Ayb helped me understand what it was I wanted in life, what direction I had to follow for my education and where I wanted to see myself in the future. Apart from the main subjects, we also had facultative ones at school. We could choose any subject we wanted to study, so I chose sociology and right on day one I understood it was something I wanted to pursue. Sociology isn’t that widespread in our country and if it weren’t for Ayb in my life, I might never have continued my education in that discipline. We could simply talk with our teachers, discuss various topics and raise questions; you won’t see such relations between teachers and students anywhere else here and I miss it a lot! Ayb always felt like home to me.”
“As for returning to Armenia and living there, I don’t know; life changes every day and I cannot tell which way it’ll go in the future. I do want to continue my education here and I don’t sever contacts with my homeland either. I do want to be useful to my country in some way and I started from joining Ayb Scholarship Fund to donate my small monthly input for the education of the children from Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora, for all of them who want to receive quality education and to dream big about their future. It was all thanks to those, even smallest, donations from ordinary people like myself that I was able to get where I am now.”