thousands of others, Anush Najaryan left Armenia
in hopes of making her life better in America.
But unlike so many, Anush returned in hopes of
making life better for those who may not have
After study at the University of Missouri and
University of Illinois in the United States, Anush
established SpiTux School, a center where children
learn computer skills.
Upon graduating Yeveran State University, Anush
won a Muskie Fellowship and took a year's post-graduate
study in economics. She returned to Armenia in
1995 and returned, too, to work in a summer camp
held each year in Spitak, organized by the Armenian
Student Brigade, which Anush had helped run two
In that same year she was accepted for study
at the University of Illinois, one of the top
institutions in the States in the field of Computer
Anush got a Master's degree in computer science
and followed it with a PhD in mathemetics, giving
lectures at the university to earn money for the
doctoral program. It was there, too, she met and
married Steve Shepherd.
Upon completion of her PhD, Anush worked at Stratus
Technologies computer company in Boston. The job
provided a good living, which allowed her to fulfill
her wish of helping the youth of Spitak.
Last summer she quit her job, bought seven computers,
network equipment, a laser printer a digital camera
and other media equipment and moved back to Armenia
to open the training center, in the heart of the
Shogher Amirkhanyan gave Anush space in the Shogher
Children and Youth Center and gave Anush a place
to live in her home and now the two-room laboratory
is teaching children (and some adults) computer
skills including website design, programming,
animation and computer graphics. The center also
publishes a children's newspaper.
The 30-year old professional is modest about
her ambitous and bold move.
decided to create an amazing working place for
myself, not grabbing someone else's work,"
she says. "There was no such a person who
would like to be engaged with a work exactly like
Anush also gives free lectures to the magistrates
at Yerevan State University, in the Applied Mathematics
"There already are lecturers at the university
and they lecture well," she says. "But
they are people who support family. At this moment
I could afford not to work somewhere where there
On November 29 SpiTux School (http://SpiTux.home.att.net)
held its official opening, after having been in
session since October 1.
Pupils, their parents, lecturers from Yerevan's
higher educational institutions, leaders of public
organizations and Lori region's governor Henrik
Kochinyan expressed their gratitude towards Anush.
The department head of YSU Semyon Nigiyan said:
"It seemed to us that benefactors should
be very rich. But it turns out that it is enough
to have a rich soul."