On March 18, I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Southern Florida for work. Though my trip was only planned for work-related items, I could not pass the opportunity to visit the Florida Armenian community, especially the reemerging South Florida AYF chapter.
The Florida community has had its struggles in recent years, but the community is on the rise again. There is a great core of motivated community leaders who want to regain the strength the community once had. These leaders have definitely inspired the younger generation—evident when talking with the small group of enthusiastic new AYF members there.
My brother, Harout, and I got a chance to attend the Armenian Cultural Association of America’s (ACAA) Agoump Night, held every Friday night in Boca Raton, Fla. There we met community members, one of whom had roots in our home city of Providence. Most importantly, we met the new AYF members in this community. We had great conversations explaining the AYF, its goals, its structure, and its events. The members we met with were excited and had great feedback.
This year, we will potentially have 10 AYF members from Florida attend our annual AYF Junior Seminar in May. We hope this enthusiasm for the AYF continues during the coming years, and we’ll finally see Florida back where it once was.