Hayk KocharyanHarvard University
Master's in Learning Design, Innovation, and Technology
Huys Scholar 2023
Where are the limits of learning? Throughout my life, I have witnessed people learning from everyone and everywhere: out of a variegated community, under the leaky roof, and through idea incubation. Living these experiences ignited my passion for education. Ever since this enthusiasm is the driving force behind every decision I’ve made. This passion is what inspired me to apply for the Master’s in “Learning Design, Innovation, and Technology” (LDIT) program at Harvard. As a coach at TUMO center, I learned the importance of fostering an inquisitive mindset in students. With this strong belief, I managed to bring technological literacy to rural areas in the southern region of Armenia, which earned me recognition on the “30 under 30 Armenians in Tech” list by Hive Ventures in 2020. My long-term goal is to influence the way education is delivered with an appealing approach and design. Being a coach, a lecturer in rural areas, and a social entrepreneur, I have a wealth of experience in teaching and the ability to effectively engage and educate diverse groups of people.
As the leading institution in the field of education, Harvard provides a unique opportunity for me to learn from experts and access cutting-edge advancements in learning experiences. Additionally, through this program, I have the privilege of selecting courses from both Harvard and MIT, enabling me to build a vast network of individuals and professors in the education and technology sectors.
In today’s world, generative AI presents challenges to the traditional delivery of education. It is not a distant future; it is already here. As an Armenian, I believe it is essential for us to leverage this technology to create our own educational system and develop an educational technology startup that brings personalized learning experiences through AI. I am driven by the belief that nothing is impossible, and we should strive to challenge the quality of education, much like the renowned Finnish educational system.
If I were to talk more precisely about another problem I faced personally it is the lack of access to quality education in remote regions of Armenia. When I initiated the “Soldier as a Teacher” program while in mandatory military service, in Meghri, together with my team we provided free computer literacy and programming classes to nearly 60 students living in the border town. I realized the importance of not just being a teacher but also a mentor to these students, helping them plan their future career goals without being isolated from the digital world.
After the pilot program “Soldier as a Teacher” successfully concluded, allowing for its continuation with qualified soldiers, I became determined to establish a network of mentorship for children from Syunik and other remote areas. I aimed to leverage my existing network from the program to create opportunities for mentorship. Additionally, I assisted the “Girls in Tech” social initiative as a coach for children from Tavush, teaching them about entrepreneurship and startups.
When the 2020 war began, and TUMO introduced digital learning classes for those affected, I volunteered to instill in them the belief in the power of education during the hard times. Now, I firmly believe that by establishing a mentorship network or supporting existing initiatives, we can truly make a difference and change the world.
Former Luys Foundation emphasized the concept of “Co-Create” a term that encapsulates two significant goals close to my heart. Having gained diverse networks through TUMO, the army, various NGOs, my previous research experience in Spain, and my entrepreneurial internship in Portugal, I have cultivated an understanding of the world from the perspective of diverse individuals. This enables me to comprehend their unique learning needs. I plan to connect not only with my Armenian network but also with my international contacts and institutions to develop a mentorship network as well as to develop an exceptional EdTech product.
I am aware that Huys Foundation is granting the Huys Scholarship to me with the anticipation of my good faith pursuit and implementation of the projects and undertakings described in this letter, to which I hereby commit.