Lutherans in the Twin Cities

LSS, international fellowship build bridges across cultures

Through an international fellowship initiative, Anna Ayvazyan, from Armenia, has joined Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) to help bridge ideas and understanding in human services across cultures. Ayvazyan is the second fellow to be placed in Minnesota since 2006 by Atlas Corps, an organization facilitating professional fellowships for emerging leaders worldwide.

Anna Ayvazyan; photo provided by Jacqueline Nelson

At LSS, Ayvazyan will be identifying best practices and innovations in disability services through her work on a new initiative in Minnesota called My Life, My Choices. This initiative is designed to help people with disabilities create the life they imagine for themselves with greater freedom, independence and flexibility at less cost.

“Now, more than ever, we see the value in building bridges across cultures and countries in our increasingly globalized world,” said Atlas Corps Founder and CEO Scott Beale. “Atlas Corps’ work to address social issues, develop leaders, strengthen organizations, and promote innovation is achieving this goal by taking a new approach to facilitating international cooperation in the nonprofit sector.”

Ayvazyan will be identifying best practices and innovations in disability services through her work on a new initiative in Minnesota called My Life, My Choices.

With nine years of nonprofit experience with different non-governmental organizations in Armenia, Ayvazyan brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to her new position at LSS. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in finance from Economics and Law University of Stepanavan, Armenia, she worked as an Operations Manager at the Full Life Non Governmental Organization, where she actively participated in projects focused on advocating for human rights and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. She has also been a driving force in promoting principles of inclusive education for people with disabilities.

“Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota has achieved an impressive level of highly diversified social services, which can easily be used as a model for many developing countries, including my very own country, Armenia,” Ayvazyan said. “I am impressed by the commitment to social services at LSS, as expressed in its vision statement‘all people have the opportunity to live and work in community with dignity, safety and hope.’”

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