Today, we feature Erebouni Torosyan, Head of Development – TUMO Center for Creative Technologies.
Originally from the UK my background is in Business Development within the IT industry. After a number of years working with large tech firms such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, I wanted to make use of my experience to contribute in some small way to the future of Armenia. So, in November 2018 I packed my things and flew from London to Yerevan to join the amazing team at TUMO Center for Creative Technologies.
TUMO’s mission? To give teenagers the kind of education that makes them think freely, creatively, and ultimately to become unstoppable! The after-school program teaches the latest trends in design, technology and everything in between. With several locations across Armenia, TUMO is able to open its doors to over 20,000 teenagers per week. My role is to work with both organizations and individuals to continue developing TUMO’s mission and expansion in Armenia.
Being in Armenia has also meant I can continue feeding the curious traveler in me. Over the last couple of years I have found myself walking the cobbled streets of the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem, exploring Western Armenia with new friends and hitting the slopes in Tsaghkadzor.
2020: The Year Of Upheaval
Whilst this was a challenging year for many, I have been inspired by the resilience, drive and thoughtfulness of those around me, and will no doubt take many learnings from the year with me through the rest of my life.
It has also been a time to reevaluate many things. To stop and consider the importance of the things that the pre-2020 era had us take for granted. For me, despite constant reminders to ‘keep our distance’, 2020 was the year of coming together: through teamwork, kindness and the ability to adapt to constant challenges.
An example of ‘coming together’ that stands out for me was the project for kids in Artsakh that we initiated in collaboration with ServiceTitan. The program was open to all kids aged 10-18 years old that were temporarily in Yerevan due to the devastating war. This special program ran for 3 months and during this time the kids were able to participate in over 20 hands-on workshops in skills such as photography, filmmaking and graphic design. The kids in the program had been exposed to difficulties that I could never imagine, but their energy and devotion to the program was inspiring – it stopped me in my tracks. I am humbled and grateful to have had the chance to be a part of it.
Say yes to things that make you feel afraid or uncomfortable. I may be repeating a standard line here – but I truly believe that only by stepping outside of your comfort zone do you learn and grow as a human being. And don’t forget to have fun! Life can sometimes feel like one decision after another, so I try and enjoy each moment as much as possible.
Q: What is your hope for the future?
The past few years, and especially the last few months have made us all appreciate the importance that the younger generation play in Armenia’s future. Their spirit, energy and ability to solve complex problems in a creative way is a constant inspiration – and I am convinced that continued investment in young people will secure Armenia’s future.
Empowering young people to take their future into their own hands with free of charge, world class education is something I hope will one day be available to every child in Armenia and every child in the world.
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