WASHINGTON, DC – Armenian American university students are invited to apply for the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)’s “Rising Leaders: Career Development and Civic Education” – a three-day program in Washington, DC, now in its second year, that introduces young Armenians to advocacy, policy, politics and media opportunities in the nation’s capital.
The ANCA is offering two participation options – March 6th to 8th, 2022, and March 13th to 15th, 2022 – to coincide with the two major Spring Break timelines at most universities. The top 25 applicants, based on academic excellence and proven community youth leadership, will be chosen for each session.
The ANCA has once again teamed up with the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Eastern and Western U.S. and the Georgetown University Armenian Students Association (Georgetown ASA) in hosting these unique student-focused events, generously supported by Dean Shahinian and the family of the late ANCA activist Lucine Kouchakdjian.
Perspective participants can visit anca.org/RisingLeaders to review the program and submit their applications. Students who are chosen for the program have two participation options – one that offers housing for the 3-day program ($100) and the other which includes program fees alone ($25). Students are responsible for travel to and from Washington, DC. Financial aid will be provided based on need and availability.
“Building on a great inaugural experience in 2019, we are gearing up for ‘ANCA Rising Leaders 2022’ to offer even better in-person opportunities for university students to explore careers in Washington while engaging with civic leaders to advance key pro-Artsakh/Armenia priorities,” said ANCA Program Director Alex Manoukian. “We are excited to partner with the AYF Eastern and Western U.S. and the Georgetown ASA once again to offer this fun, innovative, and educational program in our nation’s capital.”
“The ANCA Rising Leaders program builds on our local and regional Hai Tahd efforts to provide hands-on advocacy training to help expand youth voices in the halls of Congress and the Administration in support of pro-Armenia and Artsakh priorities,” noted AYF Eastern Region Central Executive Chair Vrej Dawli. “We are deeply grateful to the Shahinian and Kouchakdjian families for providing dozens of bright and devoted young Armenians the chance to give voice to their values in Washington and explore career opportunities in our nation’s capital.”
“The 2020 Artsakh war is a stark reminder of the importance of an engaged Armenian American community – particularly our youth – working in Congress and with the media, and advocating from our communities across America,” said Armenian Youth Federation Western U.S. Vice-Chair Hasmik Burushyan. “We are thrilled to partner once again with the ANCA in encouraging civic participation and exploring career opportunities in Washington, DC, as university students start to make critical career decisions.”
The 2022 sessions will begin Sunday with a full day of interactive presentations by the ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program Advisory Committee (CGPAC) focusing on career search fundamentals, from resume preparation and networking 101 to an overview of the Washington, DC internship and job market. Monday activities will include meetings with policy, political and media professionals, including current and former federal agency and Congressional staff, to discuss careers in the nation’s capital. Those will be followed by an extended session with ANCA team members on advancing community priorities on the federal, state, and local levels. The seminar will be capped off with the Lucine Kouchakdjian Capitol Hill Day, a full day of Capitol Hill discussions with Members of Congress and staff on strengthening U.S.-Armenia ties, supporting Artsakh freedom, and securing justice for the Armenian Genocide.
Throughout the program, ample opportunities will be provided to explore Washington, DC, and make new friends.
Over 30 students from top universities and high schools across the U.S. traveled to the nation’s capital to take part in the ANCA’s inaugural Rising Leaders Program in 2019, which was made possible, in large part, through a generous contribution by the Ararat Foundation Shahinian Educational Fund. Longtime ANCA supporter Dean Shahinian is again the major sponsor of this unique youth development program along with the family and friends of Lucine Kouchakdjian.
Dean Shahinian served in the federal government in various capacities for over 30 years, including 16 years at the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, where he worked with Committee Chairs on numerous bills and laws, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act. He has staffed over 100 hearings and negotiated complex legislation with regulators and financial services industry members. In the Armenian community, he has served on the boards of St. Nersess Seminary and the Armenian Students Association. In 1995 and 1999, he traveled to Etchmiadzin to serve on the National Ecclesiastical Assembly (to elect the Catholicos). He has also served multiple terms on the Diocesan Council of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America.
For dozens of years, living in the Washington, DC area – in addition to her cultural, education, and charitable work with a broad range of community organizations – Lucine Zadoian Kouchakdjian organized highly effective ANCA campaigns to call, write and meet with Members of Congress and engage in political campaigns, always fostering a forward-leaning spirit of civic responsibility among Armenian Americans across the nation’s capital. The Rising Leaders Capitol Hill day was named in memory of her lifetime of service to the Armenian Cause following her passing earlier this year.
For more information, email RisingLeaders@anca.org or simply register today by visiting anca.org/risingleaders.