Mariam Kharatyan: a future radio engineer from Marts
24 March 2023
Her journey with COAF began at the age of 10 when she attended COAF’s summer camp at the SMART Center in Lori for the first time. Today, at 18 years old, Mariam Kharatyan is participating in her eighth SMART afterschool program while working as an intern at the COAF SMART Center and hosting her own podcast, aptly titled SMARTcast.
Mariam, from the village of Marts in Armenia’s Lori region, firmly believes that the only requirement for learning something new and being active is a genuine desire to do so. For her, even the poor road conditions in her village aren’t an obstacle.
“We’ve formed an initiative group with the proactive youth of our village and are implementing various community programs. There isn’t much to do in the village, so it’s up to us to organize our free time in an interesting way,” says Mariam, whose enthusiasm and activism has been nurtured by SMART.
Today, she tells with a smile how SMART took him out of her comfort zone several times, which helped her learn to communicate freely with strangers, ask questions, and make new friends.
“I learned something new in every SMART program, but Mechanics was a turning point in my choice of profession. I never imagined that Ara, our Mechanics instructor, would invite me to participate in the All-Armenian Robotics Olympiad,” says Mariam, adding that, at first, she didn’t fully grasp the scope and difficulty of the work involved.