An aspiring scientist from Lernagog refuses to be ordinary
Manushak Avagyan is a 22-year-old medical student from Lernagog, and a member of COAF’s Alumni Association.
She first crossed paths with COAF 10 years ago when she was introduced to the foundation through its educational programs in Lernagog.
“When COAF entered our village, I was just 12,” Manushak shares. “At that time, I had no idea I would get enrolled in a medical university and focus on scientific research. I was just a kid that was interested in all the extracurricular activities and projects that COAF had to offer. Time passed, and I realized that medicine and public health are the topics I am most interested in.”
COAF would help kindle Manushak’s interest in medicine. She had the opportunity to connect with COAF mentors already working in the public health field, an experience that only further inspired her ambition.
“Communicating with the COAF medical team and volunteering at their projects has tremendously increased my wish to become a doctor. Eventually, I got admitted to the Yerevan State Medical University and have been completely focusing on my studies since.”
Like so many young minds in Armenia’s countryside, Manushak is passionate about science; she spends her free time learning more about the field and preparing for a career in medicine.
“Science is my passion. I enjoy taking part in conferences and learning about innovative methods of treating diseases. Stopping at one point is the worst thing for me – I must go forward all the time. When I learn about incurable illnesses I always think I will be able to find a solution some day if I work hard. I would like to specialize in oncology treatment – there is a lot to do in that area. Pediatrics is another sphere I am interested in.”
Curious thinkers like Manushak are absolutely vital to Armenia’s future. Today’s aspiring young physicians, scientists and inventors will be the engines of tomorrow’s innovations, effecting change for tiny villages and city centers alike.
“I do lots of scientific research. However, I think that helping people in your community is no less important. I would like to do a project for rural children–I am fond of my village and plan to conduct knowledge-sharing workshops for the locals. It could be something very simple, such as the negative effects of low-quality makeup items and household chemical goods. That could be a practical and useful seminar that everybody would be interested in.”
It’s this spirit of giving back that will deliver the most meaningful change in village communities. When today’s children become tomorrow’s scientists, artists, engineers and authors, their stories won’t only be defined by their individual success. They’ll become mentors for a new generation, reinvesting in Armenia’s future and building promise in villages across the country.
“I don’t want to be someone ordinary,” Manushak affirms. “I want to go beyond the borders and achieve more as a doctor and scientist – and COAF has already contributed a lot to my becoming a good specialist. Being a part of the COAF Alumni Association has been a wonderful experience for me. Keeping in touch with other COAF students from various communities has been very inspiring. Knowing that there are lots of young people that want to make changes in their villages makes me strong enough to do something useful for my own community.”
Manushak is anything but ordinary. Her story is already a bright testament to what’s possible when we invest in Armenia’s youth and equip them with the resources they need to learn and grow. Ultimately, the same children who benefit from COAF today will also be those who most meaningfully impact their local communities in the future.