WASHINGTON, DC — The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) shared a 360-degree view of the organization’s career development and student empowerment initiatives at university and high school campuses across Southern California, spotlighting internship and job placement opportunities offered through the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program (CGP), Leo Sarkisian Summer Program (LSI) in Washington, the Walter and Laurel Karabian Fellowship, and regional internships in Southern California.
“The ANCA and its programs were greeted with incredible enthusiasm by university and high school students, alike, looking to take their pro-Armenian advocacy to the next level – both as citizen advocates and through careers in policy, politics and media,” noted ANCA Programs Director Alex Manoukian. “Each of the ANCA’s youth empowerment programs – in Washington, DC and California – offer hands-on guidance by advocacy professionals and help develop leadership and organizing skills helpful in all facets of professional and community life.”
Manoukian traveled to California for presentations hosted by Armenian Students Associations at University of California, Los Angeles, Occidental College, Cal Poly Pomona, and Pasadena City College (PCC) as well as the Armenian Mesrobian School and the Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School.
On high school campuses, Manoukian discussed the newly launched Haroutioun and Elizabeth Kasparian Summer Academy, a one-week, intensive program which brings a select group of 10 high school students, 17-19 years of age, with proven community leadership experience to Washington, DC to learn more about the Armenian Cause and how policy priorities are advanced within the framework of America’s federal government. The program includes direct engagement with federal policymakers, ANCA experts, and a range of professionals who are involved in matters related to both the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh. Throughout the program, ample opportunities are provided to explore Washington, DC and make lasting friendships. Students are also encouraged to expand their daily pro-Armenian advocacy efforts through the ANCA’s Rapid Responder and Frontrunner programs.
“We always encourage our students to make a positive difference and to be outstanding Armenian Americans. The ANCA provides opportunities for students to do so and to further develop into the leaders of today and tomorrow,” explained Armenian Mesrobian School principal David Ghoogasian. “Case in point: we are always so proud to welcome home our own Alex Manoukian, who, after graduating in 2017 from Mesrobian High School as one of two Valedictorians and as Student Council President, graduated from Georgetown with a degree in Government and is now Programs Director at the ANCA.”
Armenian Students Association members on college campuses were equally effusive about Manoukian’s visits. “Having Alex at Pasadena City College to attend our ASA meeting and explain about ANCA opportunities was such a blast,” said Tony Ordoukhanian, ASA Director of External Relations. “The members were intrigued by the several ways they can get involved as well as what it takes to advocate for such issues. We were very glad to have Alex come over and represent the ANCA!”
At university campuses, Manoukian focused on the ANCA’s wide array of career development and internship programs both in Washington, DC and the California, including:
— The Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program which helps young Armenian Americans launch successful public policy, government, political, and media careers in Washington, DC, by providing free housing as well as professional training, job-search support, mentorships, and networking. The deadline for applications for the Winter, 2022 session of the program is November 15th. Additional information is available at anca.org/gateway.
— The Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship Program, an internationally respected Washington, DC summer training program for university students. The ANCA also hosts a summer fellowship named in memory of Maral Melkonian Avetisyan, as well as semester-long internships for current university and graduate students. Additional information is available at anca.org/intership.
— The Rising Leaders program – a three-day introduction to ANCA advocacy and career opportunities in Washington, DC – featuring a full day on Capitol Hill named after the great ANCA activist Lucine Kouchakdjian.
— The Walter and Laurel Karabian Fellowship – 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 is to produce professionals in the public policy and political arenas.
— The ANCA Western Region Internship Program – 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.
Washington, DC youth empowerment program participants stay at the Aramian House in the historic Dupont Circle neighborhood, the 2015 purchase of which was made possible through the generous support of the remarkable Aramian sisters, Sue, the late Margo, and the late Martha.