ECHMIADZIN, Armenia — For the first time in its history, Mer Doon reports that one of is its residents, Margarita Grigoryan, has received her master’s degree with honors from Yerevan State University. Grigoryan studied Cultural Studies and wrote her thesis on “The Culture of Tourism in the City of Echmiadzin.” What’s more impressive is that Grigoryan was born with a vision impairment that has been an ongoing physical challenge.
Mer Doon is a home in Echmiadzin for young women 18 and over who have outgrown the orphanage system or come from at-risk households. Mer Doon offers a college education as well as a loving and compassionate family environment, promoting the transition to independent living and mainstream society.
Grigoryan said, “I truly love to learn. Because of my persistence and commitment, and because of all the support from Mer Doon, I was able to continue my studies and obtain my master’s degree.”
“Margarita was able to beat the odds and be our first Mer Doon resident to achieve a graduate degree. She is bright, conscientious, and hardworking, and will be a great asset to any company,” stated Tigranoohi Karapetyan, Mer Doon executive director and co-founder.
Grigoryan, who is now 23, entered the orphanage system at age 11. She was sent to the orphanage because her father had gone missing, and her mother was declared mentally and physically disabled. Her two younger sisters, Marieta and Arpi, entered the orphanage with her because of the family’s dire circumstances. She received her bachelor’s degree at Vanadzor State Pedagogical Institute named after Hovhannes Toumanyan.
She aspires to work in the tourism industry. She has already received a certificate to be an official tour guide. She would love to work not only as a guide, but also to develop tour packages and proudly represent Armenia to foreign travelers. In addition, she is fascinated with Indian culture and would like to use her education to promote this passion in Armenia.
Mer Doon provides orphaned and disadvantaged young women (ages 18-24) a loving and nurturing place to call “home.” It is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the State of Connecticut and a nongovernmental organization registered in the Republic of Armenia.