Grigor Shahbazyan’s Unforgettable Experience Through YMCA Scholarship

Grigor Shahbazyan (BAEC ’23)
YMCA Scholarship 

Grigor Shahbazyan graduated from the American University of Armenia (AUA) in 2023 with a degree in English and Communications. During his senior year, he received the YMCA Scholarship, which provided him with a unique opportunity to join a volunteer group and develop skills in his greatest passion: photography.

“I have always been interested in photography and even intended to pursue a career in this field. I make every effort to learn and practice more, and volunteering with YMCA has been instrumental in  gaining more experience. I actively participated in the Rootsmade platform organized by YMCA to support Syrian refugee artisans. Our primary objective, as social media volunteers,  was to promote the small businesses of these individuals through posts and photographs,” remarks Grigor. 

On June 28, Grigor had the chance to volunteer at the 50th Anniversary of YMCA Europe in Berlin. The five-day event brought together representatives from various parts of the world to celebrate this significant milestone and collaborate for future success. As a member of the communications team, Grigor captured photographs of the opening ceremony and various activities. “The 50th Anniversary of YMCA Europe was more than a celebration; it provided  an opportunity to network, share experiences, reflect on past achievements, and address challenges. Additionally, I met the people who made my scholarship possible, and that was an amazing experience.”

Participants of the 50th Anniversary of YMCA Europe

Throughout his four-year education at AUA, Grigor learned the principles of personal development and continuous learning, which he constantly tries to apply to different projects, much like his work with YMCA. During his time in Berlin, he gained a greater sense of  appreciation, compassion, open-mindedness and resilience. “Mutual respect and the ability to build partnerships are key values for YMCA. Receiving their scholarship was an incredible opportunity, and I believe it is crucial for young students to have this kind of support, which can alleviate certain obstacles. I am grateful to YMCA for allowing me to fully focus on my education.”