ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship: A Chance to Jump into ‘Hai Tahd’

Are you an Armenian-American college student looking for the ultimate summer opportunity? Do you want to learn more about the Armenian Cause, live in the nation’s capital, and make meaningful connections that last a lifetime?

If so, listen up.

The ANCA Eastern Region is now accepting applications for the ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship (LSI) program, which will run from June 17 through August 9 in Washington, D.C. If you haven’t heard of the program, keep reading.

The LSI program is a cornerstone of the ANCA’s nationwide efforts to educate, motivate, and activate Armenian-American youth so they can expand advocacy efforts in their hometowns and campuses. Since 1985, the program has produced hundreds of alumni from across the United States who have gone through its ranks. The program is named after the late Leo Sarkisian, an ANCA Eastern U.S. leader who spearheaded grassroots activism for more than four decades until his untimely passing in 1992.

During the eight-week internship, participants will live in Washington, D.C. at the ANCA Hovig Saghdejian Capital Gateway House, which is located close to the ANCA National Headquarters. They will work on a wide variety of projects based on their individual interests while gaining hands-on experiences within the American political system. A bi-weekly lecture series features guest lecturers, including Members of Congress, ambassadors, and Armenian-American leaders. Interns are offered a weekly stipend during the eight-week program.

Let’s cut to the chase: This program is a boot camp in Hai Tahd. You will learn things you never would anywhere but in Washington. Even if politics isn’t necessarily your forte, you will earn valuable work (and life) experience to put on your résumé.

If you’ve never been to Washington, now is the time. It’s a vibrant city with a lot going on–and I’m not just talking about in the political scene. The city is perfect for college students. I interned in Washington in 2011 and found it to be one of the best summers of my life because of the active social scene, the many free activities, and the number of people my age living and working in the area. In short: You’ll fit right in.

The LSI program allows you to learn about lobbying and our federal government. It pushes you to think outside your comfort zone and to act as an individual. It is an intense two months because the program offers countless projects and tasks for its interns.

“I was fortunate enough to take part in the LSI program in 2004, and it was one of the most exciting learning opportunities I’ve experienced. It was incredible to see how important it is to be an activist and what a large role we play in communicating our issues not only to elected officials, but also other organizations and individuals. Aside from learning more about politics and processes, my connection to Hai Tahd and my homeland became stronger,” said Tamar Kanarian, who currently serves on the ANCA Eastern Region Board.

I encourage you to apply to this program. The ANCA is only as good as its youth–that’s you. We are made stronger every day because of the growing number of young people getting involved in the Cause. The LSI Program is the perfect springboard for your involvement in Hai Tahd and your professional growth.

If you want to apply or know someone else who does, visit for applications.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact me by calling (917) 428-1918 or e-mailing I’d be happy to talk to you about the LSI program and other ANCA Eastern Region activities.

Don’t forget: The deadline is April 1!

Michelle Hagopian

Michelle Hagopian

Michelle Hagopian is the chairwoman of AYF-YOARF Central Executive. She has served as the executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region.

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