Youth on Trust Competition: 4 Pan-European Winners From Armenia

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YEREVAN, Armenia On June 20, the results of the pan-European Youth on Trust Awards (YoTA) competition were announced for all age categories following careful jury deliberations. Four of the 12 final winners are from Armenia.    

The YoTA competition is organized within the framework of PERITIA (Policy, Expertise and Trust), a European Union-funded Horizon 2020 project implemented in Armenia by the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment.

Hundreds of schoolchildren from Armenia and other European countries participated in the YoTA competition sharing their views in various formats essay, podcast, film, blog post, short story, or dialogue on the topic of trust in our social and political life.

Close to 45 students from 25 different Armenian cities and villages participated in the competition. The jury in Armenia identified nine finalists, from three age groups, whose names were submitted for inclusion in the pan-European pool of finalists. Four of the Armenian finalists were winners in the international round of the competition.

The Armenian jury, comprising philosophy professors from Yerevan State University Dr. Levon Babajanyan, Dr. Sylva Petrosyan, Dr. Karine Yararyan, Serob Khachatryan and  Dr. Arshak Balayan from AUA. 

“Congratulations to all the winners from Armenia and elsewhere,” said Dr. Arshak Balayan, AUA faculty member and PERITIA lead researcher. “All the announced winners will be invited to Brussels for the award ceremony in the spring of 2023. We are also planning to make the winning submissions available online soon.” 

The winners are listed below by age category and in alphabetical order. 

13-14 Years of age:  

  • Zorayr Beknazaryan, Armenia 
  • Mari Hovhannisyan, Armenia 
  • James Molloy, Ireland 
  • Marcelina Wawrzyńczyk, Poland 

15-16 Years of age:  

  • Izabela Andreasyan, Armenia 
  • Mane Mkhitaryan, Armenia 
  • Aslı Öktem, Turkey 
  • Maciej Urbańczyk, Poland 

17-18 Years of age:  

  • Laura Bzdak, Poland  
  • Eylül Değirmenci, Turkey 
  • Natalia Niedźwiedź, Poland 
  • Aneta Pastuszka, Poland 

For more information on PERITIA, please visit the following site: 

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, a research center of the American University of Armenia (AUA), promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. The AUA Acopian Center’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity protection and conservation, greening the built environment, sustainable energy, as well as information technology and the environment. Visit