Larisa’s inspiration to provide all children in Armenia with an opportunity to attain an excellent education derived from her two-year experience as a Teach For America special education teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. Born in Yerevan to an Armenian mother and an Irish-American father, Larisa was raised on two different continents. After receiving a B.A. in International Business & Language Area Studies from St. Norbert College and an M.A. in Special Education from Arizona State University, she moved back to Armenia in 2013 with a vision to start a program that would inspire and change every child’s life through education.
Together with Larisa’s passionate, entrepreneurial team, Teach For Armenia has rapidly become one of the most successful educational organizations in Armenia to date, currently impacting over 3,000 students across the country. In the two years since its launch in 2013, Teach For Armenia has garnered the support of Armenia’s Ministry of Education, principals, parents, students, leading Armenian universities, and private sector champions.
As the CEO and Founder of Teach For Armenia, Larisa believes that providing equal educational opportunities for all children in Armenia is at the core of unlocking her nation's full potential and wellbeing. She considers her return to Armenia an opportunity to systemically impact and improve educational outcomes for Armenia’s most underserved students, as well as provide an opportunity for outstanding graduates from Armenia and the Armenian diaspora to contribute to significant and meaningful development in their homeland. For her contribution to the advancement of Armenia through her work with Teach For Armenia, Larisa received national recognition by the Armenian government in September 2016.