Each and every member of the TUMO team is vital. When we say “vital,” we actually mean it – from the more “behind-the-scenes” staff to those you see as soon as you walk into the building. Each person holds an important place in the TUMO circle of life. (Cue the Lion King soundtrack.) But it’s TUMO’s learning coach that plays an extra special role. Why? For the most part, they work directly with our students each and every day. And to be an especially awesome learning coach you have to be equal parts inspirational and knowledgeable. Cue Marine Gazazyan. (You can turn off the Lion King soundtrack now. Unless, you know, you’re into it at this point. Which in that case, Hakuna matata.)
Marine is a 20-year-old food enthusiast – so much so, that she even took a food arrangement class. “I’d cut all the food up and put it together in this really pretty display, but my favorite part was always eating it at the end.” We’re fans of hers already.
Besides being a foodie, Marine was also a TUMO student and a shy one at that. “At school, I stuck to myself mostly and just did my work quietly. It wasn’t until I got to TUMO that I opened up. I met a lot of different people, active students and students more shy than even me. Each of us complemented each other and I realized that I shouldn’t be so shy so I opened up.” Marine started her journey at TUMO thinking she’d be a web developer. Or, maybe game developer or… animator? Then she decided on acting! That is, until she took a filmmaking workshop and realized she liked what was happening behind the camera even more. With that, she picked filmmaking and media as a focus and has fostered her love for them ever since.
So when we asked her how she approaches the role of being a coach she said, “I don’t want to talk about or praise myself, but… no I don’t want to talk about myself and what I do to help.” Then she literally just stopped and smiled, expecting the interviewer to continue. The interviewer had to explain the fundamental tenets of interviews, the primary principal being the interviewee must actually speak about themselves.
“Well, I don’t want to praise myself, but I work really hard to make sure that each student gets inspired. I’ve had students that aren’t interested in anything and I sit and spend the entire session next to them, helping them with each activity line by line and then they get interested. Then when I see them participating in workshops and learning labs, I get really happy knowing that I had some part in that.”
(See, was that so hard Marine?)
Her dedication to being an excellent learning coach stems from her own experience as a TUMO teen. “When I was a student here, all I wanted to be was a learning coach, but that seemed like such an unattainable goal. I thought I have to mature and learn so much. They were my idols. It was the coach who made me fall in love with TUMO and I’m still in love. I still can’t believe I’m a coach.”
FUN FACT: Marine and her friends have a secret language that is part Armenian, part their own creation. But it’s so complex that when they speak it, only they can understand each other!