Promoting Community Impact Projects Through Improved Employability Skills of Students in Underserved Communities of Armenia

Through this project 10 of our Teacher-Leaders will lead community impact projects on financial literacy with 500 of their students.

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Eligibility

  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Larisa Hovannisian

Initiative's representative date of birth

October 21, 1988

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Woman

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • Armenia

Where are you making a difference?

Regions of Armenia: Shirak, Lori, Armavir, Aragatsotn, Tavush, Gegharkunik, Kotayk and Yerevan

Website or social media url(s)

www.teachforarmenia.org www.facebook.com/teachforarmenia www.instagram.com/teachforarmenia www.twitter.com/teachforarmenia

When was your organisation founded?

May 2013

Focus areas

  • Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
  • Financial skills and capability
  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)
  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways) 

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $10k - $50k

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

As a Teach For America Alumni, our Founder & CEO Larisa Hovhannisian wanted to apply her experience and provide equal educational opportunities for all children in Armenia. Her energy to make a difference came to light through the belief that education is at the core of unlocking Armenia’s full potential. She considers her return to Armenia an opportunity to systemically impact and improve educational outcomes for Armenia’s most underserved students, as well as provide an opportunity for outstanding graduates from Armenia and the Armenian diaspora to contribute to significant and meaningful development in their homeland.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

Children in the communities Teach For Armenia serves lack access to high-quality teaching and educational opportunity. They are left without the skills needed for higher education, professional opportunity, and financial security in a country where 30% of the population lives below the poverty line, 18.5% is unemployed, and 21% do not complete secondary school. To support their families, children are often forced to do manual labor work.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

A cornerstone of our Leadership Development model leverages the school as the center of Armenian community life and places a unique focus on community impact. Outside of their teaching responsibilities, Teacher-Leaders run Community Impact Projects that are tailored to the needs of the community. These core components of the program serve to bring additional educational opportunity to the students, to develop their leadership skills and civic mindsets, and to mobilize the entire community around active citizenship. For several years, TFA’s Teacher-Leaders have been successfully implementing Community Impact Projects. In close partnership with their students and community members, several Teacher-Leaders have initiated projects that have significantly improved their students’ knowledge of the business cycle and developed an entrepreneurial mindset among them. We at TFA believe we must foster leadership at every level, from the classroom up to the highest levels of leadership across Armenia. We recruit passionate and talented individuals with leadership potential who strive for long-lasting change and place them in rural communities to teach and lead community impact projects.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

Through this project we will select 10 Teacher-Leaders who will take the lead in facilitating the community participation process and together with their community members, present a Community Impact Project on financial literacy. The ability to understand and distinguish financial options, feel comfortable talking about personal financial topics, make decisions protecting against future insecurities, as well as being prepared to solve every day financial problems effectively affects the overall financial security, well-being, and prosperity of people. In the rural communities that we serve, financial literacy is necessary to manage budgets, initiate community impact projects, and fundraise for them.

6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health

By implementing this project, we will reach several goals. Firstly, through first-hand engagement, at least 500 students from our 10 partner communities will gain the critical skills that will significantly contribute to their future literacy and will equip them with the necessary tools to succeed in life. Secondly, 10 Teacher-Leaders will have access to the mentorship and guidance of our influential Alumni-Ambassadors and will develop practical skills in project planning, budgeting, and execution. This will help institutionalize our organizational knowledge. While offering guidance and mentorship to the Teacher-Leaders, our 5 Alumni-Ambassadors will also gain several key skills, such as the ability to provide mentorship and targeted support to project execution teams, that will help them succeed in their own current and future projects and entrepreneurial activities.

6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.

Our target groups will gain knowledge on several key aspects of financial capability such as budget development, budget execution, budget monitoring, comprehension of financial terms, saving and safe monetary transactions. We will ensure that these Community Impact Projects are co-designed and co-created, give space for independent learning and foster the development of decision-making skills. TFA’s Impact Department has developed rubrics that will record and evaluate the performance towards each of the aforementioned future-oriented skills.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The Central Bank of Armenia offers a training course to school teachers in Yerevan and across the country as part of the “Financial Education in Schools” program. The course is designed for teachers of "Mathematics", "Algebra", "I and the world around" and "Social Studies" subjects. Our approach is different in that, in addition to basic budgeting, Teach For Armenia will take a more tailored approach for the trainings depending on what each community has to offer in terms of resources that we can cultivate through new and innovative approaches.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Since its inception in 2013, the impact of our organization has grown exponentially. Currently over 120 Teacher-Leaders impact the lives of around 15,000 students in over 100 schools across Armenia. Our strong cohort of 83 Alumni Ambassadors is actively pursuing their careers in the most strategic fields. They work as school principals, members of local community councils, they successfully develop and implement their own social innovation projects or influence policy reforms through active enrollment in public administration or the development of new modules of approaches to education. Together, they aim to achieve system-wide change and demonstrate the power of collective leadership. According to our 10-year growth plan, by 2025 our Teacher-Leaders will impact over 40,000 students in around 250 communities.

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Teach For Armenia will conduct ongoing monitoring of the project’s implementation and an end of cycle financial sustainability evaluation. The sustainability will be guaranteed through the enhanced local capacity that implies increased social capital from Community Impact Projects that will be implemented in communities that these 10 Teacher-Leaders will serve. We will also measure the increase in students’ life skills and practical knowledge that will contribute towards their employability through ex-post and ex-ante assessments, demonstrating the progress they make through these Community Impact Projects. TFA also ensures continuous presence, participation, and monitoring of operations by the Teacher-Leaders.

10. Team

Please see the following link for our organization chart: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1_lwmdznZZ3rfyDfW6TDQZWQprG_P0MiJUwbYGR6jTqQ/edit?usp=sharing

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • This does not apply to me

If you selected “yes” to any of the categories above, please explain how being a member of this group has impacted you and your work?

n/a

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • HBSC page or contact

Evaluation results

2 evaluations so far

1. OVERALL Evaluation:

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 100%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

3. Does this entry have SOCIAL IMPACT?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

4. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 50%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

5. Is this entry ACTIVATING CHANGEMAKING?

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 50%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

6. FEEDBACK: Highlights

IMPACT POTENTIAL: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) – and you have a concrete plan for future impact. You have specific tools for measuring impact. - 100%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful solutions - 50%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work operationally and financially in the present and future; your plan is specific and you value sustainability. - 50%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You have a good plan on how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 50%

Other option - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: Areas for Improvement

IMPACT POTENTIAL: make sure to provide specific instances of your social impact (or how you plan to measure impact) – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, the main activities/products, and provide evidence of (or plan for) impact evaluation - 0%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: make sure to describe how your solution is unique and innovative – it is helpful to include the research you have done on past solutions and how your solution is different from (and/or builds upon) these. - 100%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 0%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: make sure you describe your plan for how to empower others to become changemakers through your programming, service, or product - 0%

WRITING STYLE. Try to be concise, descriptive, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

Other option - 0%

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