On March 30, Leigh Carter, wife of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard M. Mills, kicked off the U.S. Embassy’s fourth annual Women’s Mentoring Program with a press conference held at the American University in Armenia (AUA). The 2016-2017 mentoring program, which is organized in partnership with AUA PSIA (Political Science and International Affairs) Program and the Women and Youth Development and Support Center, was timed to coincide with and celebrate Women’s History Month. Key speakers at the press conference included mentors Hasmik Sahakyan, President of Women and Youth Development and Support Center NGO and Shushan Doydoyan, Head of Personal Data Protection Department, Ministry of Justice.
U.S. Women’s History Month is celebrated every year in March to recognize the contributions of women to society. President Obama recently stated: “Because of the courage of so many bold women who dared to transcend preconceived expectations and prove they were capable of doing all that a man could do and more, advances were made, discoveries were revealed, barriers were broken, and progress triumphed… Through hardship and strife and in every realm of life, women have spurred change in communities around the world, steadfastly joining together to overcome adversity and lead the charge for a fairer, more inclusive, and more progressive society.”
The U.S. Embassy and AUA first established the Women’s Mentoring Program in 2010. Mentors provide career advice, share their personal experiences, and serve as role models to promising young students. In 2016-17, 61 Armenian women from a variety of professional fields will mentor 62 women BA and MA student from different universities as well as students from the “Houso Aygi” Young Women Charitable Foundation and the Mer Doon Organization.