WASHINGTON, DC – Armenian American university students have until February 22nd to apply for the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)’s “Rising Leaders: Career Development and Civic Education” Program, which will introduce young Armenians to Washington, DC’s advocacy, policy, politics, and media opportunities through a unique 3-day immersion program. The program is a collaboration between the ANCA and the Armenian Youth Federation Eastern and Western United states.
Two participation options are available for university students – 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. 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.
For more information, email RisingLeaders@anca.org or simply apply today by visiting anca.org/risingleaders.
Alumni of the 2022 ANCA Rising Leaders sessions discussed the impact of the program – both in terms of career development and community activism.
Leana Hacopian of the AYF New Jersey Arsen Chapter explains, “The ANCA Rising Leaders Program was one of the most inspiring programs that I have been a part of. No matter the background of the student, the skills that we all learned are applicable to every aspect of daily life. Most importantly, the program inspired us to take action and become effective advocates for a better and safer Armenia and Artsakh.”
Aram Parnagian of the AYF Manhattan “Moush” chapter noted, “The ANCA rising leaders program provided me with experiences that taught me about the details of American democracy and how to advance the Armenian Cause through that system.”
Aram Apanian of the AYF Hollywood “Musa Ler” chapter noted, “The ANCA Rising Leaders program was a unique opportunity to learn about civic activism and how to promote Pro-Armenia and Artsakh issues within our nation’s capital. The high caliber of speakers I learned from gave me insight into key topics such as lobbying, professional development, and public speaking. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this program which reaffirmed my belief in the importance of the ANCA’s work.”
Nyrah Balabanian of the AYF New Jersey “Arsen” chapter stated, “The ANCA Rising Leaders program gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of Armenian-American policy priorities and practice using my rights as a citizen to learn how to answer the call to action. I definitely recommend this program to anyone who is interested in sharpening their skills and gaining valuable information about the ins and outs of Washington DC.”
Lar Tabakian of the AYF Pasadena “Nigol Touman” chapter concurred, noting, “The ANCA Rising Leaders program opened my eyes to the array of possibilities on Capitol Hill. It ignited the fire within me to utilize my position as a constituent to advance the Armenian Cause on American soil. After the program, I became truly inspired by the work of the ANCA and participated in its Leo Sarkisian Internship this past summer.”
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 the 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.
The program is made possible through a generous contribution by longtime ANCA supporter Dean Shahinian, who 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. In the Armenian community, he has served on the boards of St. Nersess Seminary and the Armenian Students Association. 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 foster 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.