Adventures in Advocacy Await ANCA Washington DC Summer Interns

Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship and Maral Melkonian Avetisyan Fellowship Application Deadlines March 30, 2020

February 12, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC — University students interested in advancing Armenian American policy priorities and experiencing first-hand the inner-workings of the nation’s capital are encouraged to apply to the ANCA Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship (LSI) and Maral Melkonian Avetisyan Fellowship by March 30, 2020.

The eight-week sessions will run from June 15th to August 7, 2020. Detailed information and online application forms are available at Students looking for internship opportunities who will be in Washington, DC participating in the UCDC Program, CalState in DC, and Pepperdine University DC Programs are also welcome to apply for summer positions at the ANCA.

“Our 2020 Washington, DC Summer programs young Armenian Americans an unforgettable opportunity to advance core community priorities, while opening doors to professional advancement and making friends that will last a lifetime,” remarked ANCA Program Director Sipan Ohannesian. “The eight-week session helps students develop their leadership and communication skills, serving as a springboard for a lifetime of effective advocacy supporting Armenia, Artsakh, and justice for the Armenian Genocide.”

The ANCA’s LSI Summer Internship provides participants a unique opportunity to engage in the public policy issues in the nation’s capital but also allows them to network with the ANCA’s vast network of ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway alumni and LSI alumni residing in the DC area. For more than three decades, it has been the Armenian American community’s signature advocacy training program, preparing hundreds of leaders who actively advance ANCA policy priorities on campuses and in communities nationwide.

“The LSI Summer Internship introduces students in the inner workings of the Washington, DC political machine, providing with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to directly apply their knowledge and skills in advancing the rich Armenian-American policy advocacy agenda,” remarked ANCA Western Region Executive Director Armen Sahakyan. “LSI alumni — regardless of future career trajectories — develop a robust understanding and appreciation of civics, ultimately becoming better-engaged citizens.”

The 2019 ANCA summer internship class participated in the ANCA’s most hands-on advocacy training program to date, building on the ANCA’s nationwide grassroots campaign in support of four key amendments to the fiscal year (FY) 2020 foreign aid bill and National Defense Authorization Act, seeking to expand aid to Armenia and Artsakh and block the sale of armaments to an increasingly repressive Aliyev regime in Azerbaijan.

“The ANCA Eastern Region recognizes the importance of youth involvement and leadership in grassroots Armenian American activism. The ANCA LSI program provides a critical foundation for the next generation of activists in the Armenian American community. The Eastern Region recently established the ANCA Eastern Region ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship Endowment Fund to secure the financial future of the Eastern Region’s involvement in the LSI program and continue to equip hundreds of youth activists with the tools necessary to continue the work of Hai Tahd well into the future,” said Aram Balian, ANCA Eastern Region Executive Director. “We’re excited for the 2020 LSI class to take shape and report back on their incredible and informative experiences working in the nation’s capital,” said Balian.

Established in 1986 and named after the ANCA Eastern U.S. leader Leo Sarkisian, a pioneer of ANCA grassroots advocacy, the LSI program is a cornerstone of the ANCA’s nationwide efforts to educate, motivate, and activate Armenian American youth to expand advocacy efforts in their hometowns and campuses. It was augmented in 2019 with the establishment of the Marl Melkonian Avetisyan Fellowship, established as a living legacy to a devoted youth leader whose community activism and commitment to the Armenian homeland continues to inspire new generations of young Armenian Americans.

The participants work on a wide variety of projects based on their individual interests while gaining hands-on experiences within the American political system. A bi-weekly lecture series features guest lecturers, including Members of Congress, Ambassadors, and Armenian-American leaders. During the eight-week Washington, DC program, interns live at The Aramian House, named in honor of the late community leader and philanthropist Martha Aramian of Providence, R.I., and located a short distance from the ANCA’s Washington DC headquarters.

Applications are reviewed and approved by the ANCA Eastern Region and ANCA Western Region Boards, following careful consideration of individual academic records and demonstrated community or campus leadership on Armenian American concerns.

In addition to opportunities in Washington, DC, the ANCA Western Region (ANCA-WR) offers internships and fellowships in Los Angeles and Sacramento, respectively.

The Walter and Laurel Karabian Fellowship is a nine-month experience in California that offers young Armenian-Americans the opportunity to enhance their leadership and professional skills. The purpose of this fellowship will be to produce professionals in the public policy and political arena. The deadline for applications is May 15, 2020. For more information visit:

The ANCA-WR Internship Program is a selective part-time leadership program, which introduces high school graduates, college students, and recent college graduates to all aspects of the public affairs arena. The program provides an opportunity for student leaders and activists to gain an in-depth understanding of the American political system, Armenian-American issues and advocacy efforts on the local, state and federal levels. Applications for the summer and fall 2020 sessions are now open:


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street NW Washington, DC 20036 | | @anca_dc
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