Studying abroad, being an exchange student and getting to know other cultures and people had always been a dream for Narine Baghdasaryan from Hrazdan, and her dream became a reality through the #FLEXProgram. Now she helps students in Armenia to improve their English so they may also reach their goals.
“You always have choicee-admire your dreams or go after them. I chose going after my dreams, I was convinced that dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough. When I learnt about FLEX program in 9th grade, it seemed something impossible for me, but due to hard work and a big desire it came true in 2015 when I became a FLEX finalist. I spent my exchange year in Saranac, Michigan and attended Saranac High School. I was hosted by the Mussers family and had a wonderful experience with them. They’ve impacted on my life in many positive ways and have a special place in my life. The warmth, advice and love they gave me will be with me forever. FLEX changed my life. Most importantly, it changed my way of thinking, it broke all the stereotypes I had before, made me stronger to challenges and gave me friends from all over the world.”
While in the U.S., Narine was selected as a participant for the Workshop for Youth Leaders in English Teaching (WYLET) in Washington DC. She developed skills in classroom management, public speaking, student-centered methodology and team-building. When returning to Armenia, Narine opened an English club for middle school students in Hrazdan using the experience and skills she gained in the U.S. “I feel that my club is a perfect way for me to share everything I learnt. What makes me happy is when I see my students are so interested in the lessons, and the best part is that more and more students coming to my club every week.”
Because of her efforts and dedication, Narine will travel to Moldova this summer to help FLEX finalists improve English before starting their exchange year. “What I now have was once among things that I only hoped for, and FLEX taught me that without believing people have no direction”, -Narine says.