What’s Nanor Doing Now?

June 15, 2021


Nanor Balabanian brings books to recovering soldiers in Armenia. Photo courtesy of Eric Grigorian of EVN News.

As of May, Nanor continued to work in hospitals with Coco, where he would sit on soldiers’ laps to provide comfort. Nanor spent some time recovering herself, taking the time to heal. She began planning a summer camp in July for Hidden Road Initiative, for which she is seeking volunteers. She also was running an online English program to teach children from all over the villages on Saturdays and one day each week. She matched village students one-to-one with students from abroad, and invited everyone to sign up to volunteer at  tinyurl.com/armeniatutoring .

Nanor’s camps serve students who aim for college, to help them explore majors and eventually get into college. They build on her mission to help in remote villages, to help students who are isolated have an opportunity to go to college, get a job, and return to give back to the villages afterwards. 

After a quick trip back to the U.S. in June, Nanor has returned to Yerevan. She plans to head to the villages on July 4, and to return to Armenian villages in the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) region to run camps.

“That will be a difficult one, emotionally, but we are very excited,” she said. “We are nervous for the upcoming elections on June 20 as the country is very divided right now and no one knows who would be a good leader for Armenia.”

Overall, Nanor said, most of her time these days goes to non-profit work, including finding scholarships and sponsors for her students. She is also learning from  Eun-Mee Jeong, Eastside’s Director of Alumni Services, about how to find internships and mentorships after college. Her dream is to use what she has learned at Eastside to create an “Eastside-Armenia” to serve the community there.

“I have been trying to learn from Eastside since the beginning,” she said. “I have been observing and seeing what works and what doesn’t, and ow I can adapt similar models to Armenia.”

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