Lorik Hartounian has completed a Masters degree in TEFL from the American University of Armenia (AUA). Throughout her studies she has focused on building sustainable development programs involving education and culture, and has a genuine passion for breaking down the barriers to implement gender equality. She has experience working for several NGOs, and has facilitated English courses based on gender and women’s studies with an emphasis on women’s rights, empowerment and leadership skills. Lorik is dedicated to continuing her passion for gender equality through her work with GOALS, which has seen her travel to several countries as a Community Impact Coach, and having an active role in the creation of girls’ soccer leagues throughout Armenia, further contributing to the development of communities within the country.
Zinaida was born and raised in Yerevan. In 2017, she graduated from American University of Armenia with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and specialization in PR. Now, she is pursuing her Master’s degree in Political Science and International Affairs. Zina spends her free time playing sports, photographing and traveling. She played for her university’s basketball team for two years. She is very passionate about human rights and youth empowerment. One of her biggest hobbies is volunteering and before joining the GOALS team she volunteered both for local and international NGOs including Giovani nel Mondo in Rome. She is very excited to join GOALS as she is convinced that sport is the best way to empower and unify people.
Anushik Shirvanyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia and in 2018 she graduated from American University of Armenia with a Bachelor's Degree in English and Communications. She is passionate about sports and human rights. Anushik was an exchange student in Minnesota, United States in 2013, where she graduated from high school and has been awarded with an honorable certificate from the President of United States, Barack Obama, for her active involvement in numerous volunteer activities. She is the captain of her university's Girls’ Basketball and Soccer Club. Anushik is excited to join and be part of GOALS’ vision because she is certain that sports can help girls express themselves and stand for their rights.
Agustina was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In her hometown, she studied journalism and audiovisual communication and worked at Portinos, a marketing agency, for three years. After finishing university in December 2017, she decided to embark in an adventure and started the Birthright Armenia program in April 2018. Currently, she is a media Intern at GOALS helping with social media and digital communication. She is happy to be a part of the team, because she believes girl empowerment is key to have more equal and fair societies. While discovering the land of her ancestors, she is also volunteering at UN Armenia, going on excursions through the country and enjoying getting to know different local communities and cuisine.
Karissa is a Community and Youth Development Volunteer with the United States Peace Corps. She supports GOALS' programming by fostering volunteer networks across Armenia, and assists with grant editing and summer camps. In addition to her work with GOALS, Karissa supports Rainbow Leaders Education Center and World Vision Armenia's regional office with youth programming and service-learning in Kapan. Before joining Peace Corps, Karissa worked in grassroots advocacy, education, and fundraising as a fellow with UNICEF USA. Since then, she has continued to engage youth on issues relating to the Sustainable Development Goals, seeking to empower young change makers to take local action for a global impact. Karissa graduated with a B.A. in International Relations from Grand Valley State University in west Michigan, and earned a second bachelor's in International Economics through an exchange program in Hungary and Poland
Alvard was born and lives in Charentsavan, Kotayk region. She is working on her BA in Marketing at the American University of Armenia. Alvard is doing her best to promote her community and particularly youth development in Charentsavan. She initiated an English Club and helps middle school students learn English. She loves working with them. In her free time she enjoys watching movies and TV shows. She enjoys running and believes it’s the best way to practice determination; to go an extra mile and constantly strive for a better time or distance. Running brings out the best in her, no wonder some of her project ideas are born while running. Currently, Alvard is an intern at GOALS helping with logistics and programming.
I was born and raised in Aleppo, Syria until the age of six, when my family moved to Yerevan. This year I will graduate from the Academic High School. I want to study Business at the American University of Armenia because my dream is to become a business developer, to develop and accelerate the growth of the local enterprises. I volunteer with several NGOs in Armenia such as Armenian Progressive Youth and KASA foundation. Now, I am still working with refugees, conducting various activities and presentations to integrate them into Armenian society. I have also participated in many youth development projects. Recently I have joined the GOALS team. I enjoy service work and I am excited for the future.
Knarik Grigoryan was born in Yerevan. She has been passionate about soccer from childhood, always playing soccer with boys on her street. After graduating from high school, she finished her studies with an MA in Physical Education from Yerevan State University. She was a national soccer player with the Football Federation of Armenia for ten years. She has won Armenian championships in soccer and handball several times. From 2003 to 2016 Knarik has traveled and worked as an international referee and has achieved the top referee distinction category of FIFA. In 2016 she received a B-license from UEFA. Now, she is the first woman observer for FIFA from Armenia. Knarik continues her cooperation with GOALS as a referee and sport for social impact trainer.
Tina Grigoryan is a Yerevan native who, after finishing high school, studied at the Armenian State University of Physical Education as a Kinesiologist. Meanwhile, she has also completed courses in referee education at the Football Federation of Armenia. Tina played for the Armenian National Teams, U17 and U19. Currently, she is a FIFA’s “Live you GOALS” project ambassador. She is working as a fitness trainer in “Araqelutyun Hayastan” social organization. Tina continues her cooperation with GOALS as a sport for social impact trainer.
Artyom Arakelyan was born in Yerevan,Armernia. In 2013 he graduated from Yerevan State Linguistic University after V. Brusov majoring in English language and Intercultural Communications.He took interest in sports since his childhood and attended football academy of ""Pyunic"FC,unfortunately he had to quit his playing career because of a serious trauma,however his passion for sports and particularly football is still there and he has had working experience in local football academies.Artyom has also participated in various study sessions and seminars on human/social/disability rights organized by Council of Europe taking place in Hungary,France,Switzerland etc.He is very happy to have the opportunity to contribute to/be engaged in GOALS projects.He is sure sports is the way to create an opening for girls for self expression,unity and awareness.
I'm Arpine Arzumanyan from Yerevan. I've played for Armenian Women's National Football Team. After that I've studied at Referees High School. Currently I'm a referee assistant in both men and women championships. Currently studying at Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture, 4th course. In 2017 studied at Football Coaching B License School and have C and B coaching license. Currently I'm a coach and have a girls' team. At GOALS company I'm working as a current coach. I'm very thankful for involving me in that project. I like to work with kids especially to improve women's football.
"A dream comes true, when Ararat Mountain is in front of you" was the title of Georges's first Diary back to the day he took my first destination to Armenia. It is a crucial phase of his life which pertains to any diaspora joining back to its roots. Currently, he is a Business undergraduate at the American University of Armenia and involved in versatile of Sports and Benevolent activities, to name few: - Trainer with "Girls Of Armenia Leadership Soccer" Team in Armenia. - Co-founder of "South Caucasian Soccer Academy". - EYP Armenia Member (Forum Alumni and Organizer) -TUMO Member and Workshop Orientor's assistant. -Repat Armenia Member
Andrea Montalbano is a writer, advocate, coach and soccer player. She grew up playing soccer in Miami and took that love to Harvard, where she was co-captain and a Hall of Famer. She then attended Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, kicking off a long career at NBC News as a writer, producer and Supervising Producer for NBC News’ TODAY program. Andrea left broadcast journalism to write books and authored “Breakaway” in 2010. Determined to create a series for girls, she spent the next few years writing the three “Soccer Sisters” novels. In December 2014, she was invited by the US Embassy in Yerevan to spend a week promoting the “Girls Can Play,” initiative to encourage girls in Armenia to play soccer. She has been an integral member of the GOALS team since its inception and in the summer of 2016 spent another week traveling in Armenia with Coaches Across Continents, promoting social education through sport. Andrea is married to Diron Jebejian and together they have two children, Lily and William.
Anna’s passion for women’s soccer in Armenia led her to team up with GOALS founders Zach Theiler and Victoria Dokken back in mid 2015. Anna is a Yerevan native, but lived in Gyumri for many years. She received her master’s degree in Foreign Language Translation from Yerevan State University in 2006. In addition to working with GOALS, Anna is also the head of communications and public relations for FC Shirak in Gyumri. Since 2012, Anna has lead a number of international youth development projects for the World Learning Development Team, a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C.
Victoria Dokken is currently a graduate student studying Climate Change and Sustainable Development through SIT graduate institute, studying in both Iceland and Zanzibar. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a co-founder and director of Girls of Armenia Leadership Soccer (GOALS) NGO in Armenia, a nationwide initiative aimed at empowering girls through sport. Victoria founded GOALS during her time as a community and youth development volunteer in Peace Corps Armenia where she worked mainly on women's and girls' equity projects both in Armenia and in various other capacities in the states and abroad. Her primary job in Peace Corps was increasing the capacity of the only mentoring center in Armenia outside of the capital, improving their fundraising abilities, internal management and networking. Victoria completed her BA at the University of Florida with a double major in Political Science and Economics and a minor in Central and Eastern European Studies.
Zach Theiler is an Australian-American, Boise, Idaho native. He graduated from the College of Idaho in 2013 with a degree in International Political Economy and was also a member of the soccer team. After studying in south-western China in 2012, Zach was inspired to join the Peace Corps. He served as a volunteer in rural, Syunik Region Armenia from 2014 to 2016. During his time as a volunteer, he met Andrea Montalbano at the US Embassy’s “Girls Can Play” event in December 2014 which inspired him to start GOALS. He stayed in Armenia for a third year as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer helping GOALS off the ground before beginning graduate school at Trinity College Dublin. Currently, Zach lives in Dublin, Ireland working at an Irish NGO as a strategic advisor while he finishes his master's degree. In his free time Zach is an avid writer as well as a co-founder of an online publication covering culture and politics.
An international management consultant and former university lecturer, school inspector and school principal, Dr. Gates has been involved in the overall development of Coaches across Continents since its inception. In particular she has been an integral part of developing the rationale and practice of CaC’s curriculum and monitoring and evaluation models as well as the gender equity programme ASK for Choice. Dr. Gates holds a Ph.D in professional development and masters degrees in both business and education, plus advanced qualifications in the management of strategic change. A former lecturer at the University of Durham, UK, she was invited to be a visiting lecturer for a semester at both Harvard and Stanford Universities. She is employed as an international consultant in both the public and private sectors in the Cayman Islands, culminating with her work for the government as a member of the team which developed a national strategic plan for the country.
Christine Serdjenian Yearwood is a Waterville, Maine native with a B.A. in Sociology from Brown University, MST in Teaching ESL from Pace University, and a ME in Higher Education from Harvard University. She was a starter and captain on the women’s soccer team at Brown University, a two-time All-American, three-time All-New England, Maine Gatorade Player of the Year, and a McDonald’s All-American in high school. She also trained with the Armenian Women’s National Football Team and holds a NSCAA State Coaching Diploma. Christine was a Birthright and AVC volunteer, and a Luys Scholar. She is the Founder and CEO of UP-STAND, a movement to make public spaces and transportation safer and more accessible for pregnant women and families. Christine is passionate about GOALS and the development of soccer for girls and women in Armenia. She resides in Queens, NY with her husband and daughter.
Larry Vranka is a graduate of Cornell University and Vanderbilt Law School. He works with for-profit and not-for- profit corporations, social enterprises and other organizations in the US and around the world. Larry was previously a partner in the New York, London and Hong Kong offices of a major international law firm, where he headed up the firm’s global US corporate law practice. He has also advised in connection with the establishment of the legal framework for social “benefit corporations” in the United States and other countries. In summer 2016, Larry and his Armenian-American wife and three children, who are also avid soccer players, traveled extensively in Armenia and participated as counselors at the GOALS camp in Gyumri. Larry and his family are members of St Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Apostolic Church in White Plains, New York, and reside in Westchester, New York and Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Diron Jebejian is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse where he has worked in investment banking for over 20 years in New York. He is a graduate of California State University. Diron is a Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) Board Member and an active supporter of many Armenian charities, including AGBU, the Paros Foundation and the Near East Foundation. He is Armenian Diasporan from California. He is married to Andrea Montalbano and together they are parents to Lily and William.
Lucineh Kassarjian is the Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Sensyan Club, which is exposing the resurgence of the Armenian wine industry and culture to the rest of the world. Previously she served as the Country Director for the Armenia Tree Project, co-founded ReAnimania and served as their Director for the first four years. Lucineh founded the MolorakArts company and has authored the children’s book “Someone Else’s Cloud”. She has served on many boards including the Yerevan Chapter of the Awesome Foundation, Armenian Virtual College, Paros Foundation, Armenian Education Foundation, Bay Area Friends of Armenia, KZV Armenian School of San Francisco, and others. Lucineh holds a degree in linguistics and pedagogy from Yerevan State Linguistics University and has studied in the Computer Arts and New Media department of the San Francisco Academy of Art. Lucineh is married to Raffi Kassarjian, and they have been living in Yerevan with their two children since 2008.
Irina Ghaplanyan is the First Deputy Minister of Nature Protection of Armenia. Dr. Irina Ghaplanyan is a political analyst and a published author. She holds a doctorate degree in political science from the University of Cambridge.Her main areas of expertise are political leadership, states in transition, conflict resolution, gender and gender in conflict as well as security studies. Her previous education includes a Masters Degree in Diplomatic Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of London and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from the University of Malta. She has worked in a number of international organizations and think tanks around the world to include UNDP, Georgetown University, Eurasia Foundation, Hudson Institute and many others. She has also been a catalyst for change in the field of sustainable business and social entrepreneurship in Armenia. Dr. Ghaplanyan was noted for her work in this field and in 2015 was awarded as one of the top social venture entrepreneurs by the Global Good Fund Leadership program in Washington DC.
Daniel Love is a Peace Corps volunteer living and working in Artik, Shirak region. After receiving a bachelors of science for Finance and Entrepreneurship from Quinnipiac University, Daniel went on to start his own technology company which he sold two years later. For the next 5 years he worked with tech startups in NYC developing marketing plans, selling strategies, and managing small teams of global business development representatives. He also volunteered at Project Happy, Special Olympics and continued to play co-ed soccer. In Armenia Daniel is working as Chair of the PR committee for Peace Corps, Advisor on their MRE Task force and Small Grants committee, After-Glow Coordinator for GLOW, and is one of Armenia's Let Girls Learn corespondents.
Hovhannes lives in Moscow since 1995. He graduated mathematical middle school with honors, earned a bachelors degree in Business Informatics and a Masters degree in Project Management in Higher School of Economics and has more than seven years of professional experience in Sales, Management Consulting and Investments in KPMG CIS, Government of the Russian Federation, Microsoft and private funds. Hovhannes also has a lot of experience in running sustainable social projects in Armenia and for Armenians- being the founder and Board Member of Armenian Club in HSE (www.armclubhse.ru); the strongest Armenian youth community in Moscow; managing director of Armenian Charity Running Team in 2014-2016; and mentor and tracker in several social impact projects in Armenia like Zartnir. Currently, he studies product management and professional coaching and is interested in developing leaders in local communities, educational projects and any other projects with clear products, a visionary team, who bring happiness to the world.