The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced that the participants of this summerís AYF Youth Corps program arrived in Armenia Thursday.
The participants, will stay in Armenia and Artsakh for over a month, and spend most of their summer in Stepanakert, the capitol city of Artsakh. The group is working to rebuild the “Soseh” kindergarten and the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Center both located in Stepanakert. This year is the third year that the AYF Youth Corps program will help the rebuilding efforts at the kindergarten and rehabilitation center.
The group members will also have the opportunity to meet with government officials, local ARF representatives, and AYF members. They will also spend their weekends sightseeing in Armenia and Artsakh.
The participants of the 2004 Youth Corps program come from areas including Glendale, the South Bay, and the West San Fernando Valley.
The AYF Youth Corps program, founded after the cease-fire in 1994, has sent over 100 Armenian youth to Artsakh and Armenia to assist in the rebuilding efforts of various Armenian structures such as schools, centers, churches, and youth camps damaged during the war. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the AYF Youth Corps program.
Glendale, CA – The Armenian Youth Federation “Garo Madenlian” Public Affairs Office announced Thursday that it has chosen the seven recipients of the “Nanor Krikorian” Scholarship.
Over 30 Scholarship applications, which were made available to all high school seniors of Armenian descent, were received. After closely reviewing all applications 11 finalists were called for interviews, of which seven were chosen to receive scholarships.
The AYF provided a total of $3500 in scholarships to a total of seven qualified applicants. The recipients were Hovik Dermenchyan of El Camino High School, Talar Kharadjian and Marilyn Keoseyan of Granada Hills High School, Victoria Shpak and Lucinee Tovmasyan of Montebello High School, and Natalie Djabourian and Talar Gurunian of Mesrobian High School.
Each of the seven scholarship recipients have not only displayed commendable academic achievements but have also held roles as activists in the Armenian community, while displaying exemplary dedication to cultural, political, and community involvement.
“The AYF prides itself in contributing to the education of the youth,” said scholarship coordinator Ani Garibyan. “We are proud of the recipients and know that our investment in them will payoff with dividends to the Armenian American community in the future.”
Now in its second year, the Nanor Krikorian Scholarship has awarded 16 graduating high school seniors of Armenian descent a total of $6100. The scholarship is named after a young AYF activist, Nanor Krikorian, whose life was cut short by cancer. Those interested in contributing to the expansion of the scholarship can mail donations payable to AYF to 104 N. Belmont St. #206 Glendale, CA 91206.
The Armenian American community of Southern California concluded its Armenian Independence Day celebrations with a picnic-festival held at the Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian Pre-School on Monday May 31st.
The picnic-festival officially began with the singing of the Armenian National Anthem performed by Sose Keshishian. Thereafter singers Paul Baghdadlian, Harout Hagopian, Nersik Ispirian, Joseph Krikorian, Ara Sahagian, Sako, and Hovannes Shahbazian performed cultural and patriotic songs for a mixed crowd of over 1500.
“We are honored to provide our community a vibrant venue through which they can celebrate our first independence,” said Shant Baboujian, director of the organizing committee. “While celebrating the victories of 1918 however, we must always continue our work to overcome the many challenges our nation faces today,” explained Baboujian.
Over 25 vendors lined the picnic field where they sold artwork, ceramics, jewelry, T-shirts, clothes, and desserts. Community organizations including the Armenian Relief Society, Homenetmen, ANCA, and Pyunic were also available to disseminate organizational information to guests.
The picnic concluded at 8pm with the singing of Aruynod Trosh.
The Armenian Youth Federation Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced Friday that the AYF will celebrate the first Armenian independence with a large-scale picnic-festival on Monday May 31.
The picnic-festival will feature well-known singers and performers including Nersik Ispirian, Joseph Krikorian, Paul Baghdadlian, Armenchik, Artash Assadrian, Hovhanes Shahbazian, Sako, Ara Sahagian, and Harout Hagopian.
“May 28, 1918 represents one of the most significant turning points in our history,” said Vicken Sosikian, chairman of the AYF Western Region. “As a free public event in celebration of such a great turning point in our history, we view the picnic-festival as a service to the Armenian community.”
The picnic-festival, to begin at 10am, will also offer attendees food, music, and games. Local businesses and organizations will also have booths through which they will make their products and information available to the public. The picnic-festival will be held at the Holy Martyrs Armenian School located at 16617 Parthenia St. North Hills, CA 91343.
The AYF will also commemorate Memorial Day the same morning, with a wreathe laying at the Glendale City Hall Veterans Memorial.
Los Angeles, CA – The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced that close to 5000 protestors gathered at the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon demanding Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The youthful crowd of protestors picketed in front of the Turkish Consulate spanning across two blocks of Wilshire Blvd. With such signs as “Genocide Unpunished is Genocide Encouraged,” and “Turkey stop historical Revisionism.”
“The Canadian government officially recognized the Armenian Genocide earlier this week,” said Sevag Garabetian, Director of the Protest. “We are thankful for their ability to classify truth and justice above special interests and are hopeful that our government, here in the US, will follow suit shortly,” explained Garabetian.
About two hours after marching across the Turkish Consulate, the protestors gathered in front of the Turkish Consulate, where Vicken Sosikian, chairman of the AYF Western Region addressed the crowd from atop of a cargo truck, make shift stage.
Emphasizing on the fact that over 80% of the gathered protestors at the Turkish Consulate were youth, Sosikian said that this generation, along with future generations of Armenian American youth will continue its demands for the return of Western Armenia, proper reparations, and justice.
The Turkish Consulate protest, which has been organized for the last thirty years attracted all major broadcast and print media and concluded with the singing of the Armenian National Anthem.
The success of the Turkish Consulate protest can be credited to a committee of about 10 AYF members planning the protest for over five months and over 100 AYF members helping with crowd control,” said Marie Minassian, chairperson of the Protest Organizing Committee. “The Turkish Consulate protest is one of many forms of political activism organized by the AYF throughout the course of the year,” explained Minassian.
The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced Monday that over 700 AYF members, supporters, and friends gathered on March 27th to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the AYF.
Entertainment for the celebration-dinner dance, held at the Pasadena Armenian Center, was provided by Harout Pamboukjian and Karnig Sarkissian.
The dinner dance not only served the purpose of celebrating the AYFís 71st anniversary, but also as the AYF Central Executiveís annual fundraiser. Proceeds from the evening as well as contributions from supporters will be used to fund the AYFís upcoming Armenian Genocide recognition activities including the annual AYF protest at the Turkish Consulate.
“We are encouraged and motivated by the numerous donations and large turnout of the evening,” said Vicken Sosikian, chairman of the AYF Western Region. “Our 71st anniversary is a celebration of our past accomplishments and a reaffirmation of our pledge to work for the Armenian Cause, with renewed strength and determination,” said Sosikian.
The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced Monday that on Saturday April 24th the AYF will organize a large-scale protest in front of the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles.
“Our protest will not only demand justice from the Turkish government this year but from the US government as well,” said Sevag Garabetian, Director of the 2004 Protest. “All of AYFís programs, projects, and events serve this great cause either directly or indirectly,” explained Garabetian.
The protest, which has taken place now for close to thirty years, is where thousands of Armenian-Americans, particularly Armenian youth converge to demand justice for the Armenian Genocide.
“The lives and memories of our 1.5 million ancestors can never be replaced,” said Vicken Sosikian, chairman of the AYF Western Region. “However we will relentless pursuit our just rights to the international recognition and condemnation of the Genocide, to our lands in Western Armenia, and the proper allocations of reparations to the Armenians,” explained Sosikian.
More information about the details of the protest will be made available shortly.
The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced Thursday the launching of four new AYF websites.
The websites will serve as the web portal for the Youth Corps Program, the AYF Summer Camp, Haytoug, the official publication of the AYF Western United States, and the rest of AYF’s programs and projects.
“The new websites will improve the communication process between the AYF and our community of web users,” said Raffi Semerdjian, Administrator of Public Relations for the AYF. “The new websites will also be the medium through which information about our major programs will be readily available to our users, including applications for Summer Camp and Youth Corps,” explained Semerdjian.
The new websites can be found at AYFwest.org, AYFYouthCorps.org, AYFCamp.org, and Haytoug.org.
The Armenian Youth Federation Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced Friday the launch of the Youth Corps High School Senior Sponsorship program.
By funding full participation expenses, this initiative will provide the opportunity for one qualifying high school senior to participate in the Youth Corps Program this summer. The Youth Corps Central Council will focus on the applicantís displayed community activism, academic merit, and the quality of his/her essay.
“Serving Armenian students and helping our homeland is a priority for the AYF,” said Director of the Youth Corps Program, Myrna Douzjian. “By introducing the Youth Corps High School Senior Sponsorship we will be able to achieve both of these goals, while providing yet another Armenian youth the opportunity to serve our homeland,” explained Douzjian.
The AYF Youth Corps Program, established in 1994 provides Armenian youth the opportunity to not only visit Armenia and Artsakh, but over a five week period help our brethren through
reconstruction efforts and by teaching our peers basic English language and computer skills.
“The Nanor Krikorian Scholarship and now the Youth Corps High School Senior Sponsorship are both results of the AYFís efforts to serve the Armenian youth both in education and servitude to our homeland,” said chairman of the AYF Western United States, Vicken Sosikian. “This is yet another form of investment we make in the future of our community,” explained Sosikian.
Applicants must be 18 years or older by July 1, 2004 and must have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA. Further requirements for the sponsorship as well as the Youth Corps Application can be downloaded at http://www.AYFwest.org/yc/.