‘I seized the opportunity to grow and to give in Gyumri’ – Sarah Stites

Sarah Stites sat down with Lara Tcholakian to share her role and achievements as the Development Officer at the Emily Aregak Center and at the Caritas Aregak Foundation in Gyumri, Armenia’s second city. She explained how the center provides free therapy to kids with special needs and provides support to parents. In 2018, Sarah left her home in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to Gyumri to become better acquainted with her Armenian roots and to be of service to the community. The discussion revolved around topics of authenticity, self-fulfillment, self-realization, social media, human relations, wellness and health. Also being of Irish and Scottish descent, Sarah talked about the 25% Armenian heritage she inherited from her maternal grandfather, Charles Mooshian, who was from Kharpert, and the connections she feels with her Armenian roots. The interview concluded with a discussion of the challenges Sarah witnessed during the 2020 war in Artsakh and the lessons she learned from those difficult times.

About Sarah Stites

Based in Gyumri since 2018, Sarah Stites is the Development Officer at the Caritas Aregak Foundation, an organization striving to improve the quality of life for people in Armenia with disabilities through therapy, training and pathways to employment. She is a traveling wordsmith and communications specialist exploring her Armenian roots. She is passionate about programs that build empathy and connections between people from different walks of life. She is also an avid runner, hiker and swimmer. In 2021, Sarah founded Gyumri Restored, a U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports, among other projects, small-scale home renovations for families with children with severe physical disabilities. or more information, please visit donorsee.com/gyumrirestored.

Program overview

In a new, open setting, Lara deconstructs inherited cultural and historical narratives, memories, life lessons and experiences from change catalysts. Her guests reflect on the stories, people, events and mindsets that have shaped their professional and personal lives, enabling them to create a more mindful life.