The atmosphere of tonight's presentation was inexplicable. Over 90 people, from ages 15 to 75 of various races and ethnicities, gathered in the Student Resource Building's MultiPurpose Room to hear about the Hidden Road Initiative.
In one hour, we were able to bring the world into a single room, and travel to different countries to discuss about issues.
Personally I felt honored by the presence of highly inspired and motivated students from Dos Pueblos High School, several globally conscious citizens and activists from UCSB, academic expert Professors and PhD students, and various caring community members from Santa Barbara. I could feel the strong energy within each audience member as they sat to hear about what happened in a small isolated village.
We aimed to take the audience on a journey as we crossed the hidden road. The evening began with a video presentations of our overall history. We then began to connect our road to theirs by bringing in different team perspectives. Astkhik Hakobyan, member of USA team, spoke about her experience with keeping in touch with Hasmik from Akhpradzor. She then read an email that Hasmik wrote to Astkhik about her life. Then we connected with the Yerevan team via skype. Five of our team members in Yerevan eagerly waited for our skype meeting. They shared with us some of their experiences in Armenia and reasons of involvement. The audience then asked various questions about the connectivity of the village and life in Armenia.
After our Skype interview, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at UCSB, Dr Michael Young gave an unforgettable speech about his appreciation and admiration towards HRI. Dr Young also inspired students and audience members the importance of being a responsible student in UCSB.
Our evening ended with showing the NSLC video as well as the village students' movie, both of which amazed all of us.
We were very honored by all who came to our event and we hope that the event inspired them to find their own hidden road.
MEET OUR UCSB TEAM: Hasmik, Vartouhi, Lilly, Alex, Astkhik, Nanor, & Ara