The Sona Mnatsakanyan Female Talent Scholarship Fund
This fundraiser is created in honor of a talented young Armenian woman, Sona Mnatsakanyan, gone too soon in a tragic car accident at Leo crossroad in Yerevan on 26 April 2022. This scholarship fund was created to support the causes Sona Mnatsakanyan cared about and to pass on her legacy.
The scholarship program was initiated by Seda Papoyan - a friend of Sona and the founder of FemInno / Girls in Tech Armenia, and widely supported by Sona’s family and friends. In 2022 being the first year of the scholarship fund, 10 bright talents were awarded within the FemInno conference.
"It was very important for me to see that there are people in our country who value and encourage the participation of women and girls in the STEM fields, which makes us more responsible to do the greatest things possible. You should really expect great things from us," says one of the scholars, Ani Petrosyan, who is currently studying data science and artificial intelligence at the University of Pennsylvania. "This scholarship gave me the opportunity to use my chance of studying in Germany and follow my dream, because otherwise I had to give up due to financial problems," says another scholarship recipient, Mary Grigoryan, who is currently studying computer science and data science at the Jacobs University in Bremen.
The Sona Mnatsakanyan Female Talent Scholarship Fund is uniting the people who knew Sona and her work and who wish to support the continuation of her efforts. The raised funds will be allocated in the form of one-off scholarships to talented Armenian women in three main categories:
- Renewable energy,
The new round of scholarships were again awarded during the FemInno conference happening on 29-30 July, 2023 in Yerevan. Seven girls and women aged 18 and above from Armenia and Artsakh, engaged in any of the three main areas above, were supported to move on through their journey. The main objective is to roll over Sona’s ball in supporting and uplifting Armenia and Artsakh through quality education, talent development and particularly raising girls and women, like herself. The scholars were selected via an open call and reviewed by a committee engaging organizers, Sona’s family members and field professionals. Sona Mnastakanyan believed that education can change lives and everyone deserves an opportunity. Let’s continue her vision and support youth education!