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 third 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 12th to 14th, 2023, and March 26th to 28th, 2023 – 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 application deadline is February 12th. Successful applicants will be notified by February 15th.
Prospective 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.
“If you’re considering a career in Washington, D.C., the ANCA Rising Leaders program is a unique experience for Armenian American students,” said AYF Western U.S. Central Executive member Hakop Hajibekyan. “It’s a great way for students to network with Armenians across the country in our nation’s capital while promoting the Armenian Cause.” Emphasizing transferable skills, “our seminar attendees have taken everything they’ve learned and have applied it to advocating for Artsakh on Capitol Hill. It is incredible seeing how far they have come and the endless opportunities they are exposed to. ”
AYF Eastern U.S. Central Executive member Areni Margossian remarked that “the 3-day program provides students with the opportunity to delve into the ins and outs of grassroots advocacy and policy-making.” She noted the importance of grassroots advocacy, “everything you learn within those 3 days sets you up for success. The more informed our youth is, the stronger their voices will be when advocating on behalf of Armenians, especially with the current Artsakh blockade.”
The ANCA has once again teamed up with the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Eastern and Western U.S. in hosting these unique student-focused events, generously supported by Dean Shahinian and the family of the late ANCA activist Lucine Kouchakdjian.
The 2023 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, D.C., and make new friends.
Over 25 students from top universities and high schools across the U.S. and Canada traveled to the nation’s capital to take part in the ANCA’s Rising Leaders Program in 2022, 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.