WASHINGTON, DC – Arriving just days before the centennial celebration of the First Armenian Republic and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Armenia: Creating Home program, the 2018 Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Leo Sarkisian (LSI) and Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program (CGP) summer interns have had a unique opportunity to play a front-line role in the growth of U.S.-Armenia political, diplomatic, and cultural ties in the heart of the nation’s capital.
“What an incredible time for young Armenians to be in Washington, DC to take part in a diverse range of events strengthening the U.S.-Armenia friendship,” said Tereza Yerimyan, ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program Director. “From meeting with the President of Armenia and the wonderful artisans of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Armenia: Creating Home program, to sharing community priorities with Congressional leaders during ANCA Advocacy Day, it’s been a non-stop, hands-on learning experience, setting the stage for so much more to come.”
Hailing from communities across the U.S., the 2018 ANCA summer intern class is working closely with professionals, elected officials, and veteran community activists to gain a better understanding of Armenian American priorities and how best to advance them on the federal, state and local levels. They will participate in weekly lectures from industry specialists on topics ranging from public policy to professional development – preparing them for expanded leadership roles in their local communities and setting a foundation for future career development opportunities.
In addition to the Washington, DC component of the program, the 2018 ANCA interns traveled to Pennsylvania to participate in the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Association’s “ArtLinks” educational retreat, led by Columbia University professor, Dr. Khatchig Mouradian, featuring workshops that bring together artists, young professionals, and university students.
They also joined in the celebration of the Homenetmen Armenian Athletic and Scouting Association’s centennial, hosted in Washington, DC.
The 2018 Leo Sarkisian interns include Lilit Bazikyan, Antranig Kechejian, Christopher Khachadour, Lucine Mikhanjian, Victoria Messikian, and Adrienne Tazian-Schwartz. They are joined by CGP interns Jirair Ashotyan, Haik Voskerchian and high school interns Sevana Dombalagian, Hasmig Krikorian, and Megan Vandre.
ANCA LSI and CGP participants are vetted through a rigorous application process with acceptance based on academic excellence as well as a strong track-record of community involvement and student leadership. Interns engage in a wide range of research projects tailored to their areas of interest while increasing their political understanding through Congressional meetings, think tank talks, and bi-weekly lectures by members of the diplomatic community and public policy experts. Summer interns in need of housing stay at The Aramian House, located in Washington DC’s historic Dupont Circle neighborhood, which is just a short walk from the ANCA headquarters.
Established in 1986 and named in memory of the late ANCA Eastern U.S. community leader who spearheaded grassroots activism to advance the Armenian Cause for more than four decades, the ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship program now has hundreds of alumni across the world, spreading the message of truth and justice for the Armenian Genocide, freedom for Artsakh, and a secure, prosperous, and democratic Armenian homeland.
Launched in 2003, the ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program helps secure permanent employment and professional internships in Washington, DC for young Armenian American professionals and students. Through the years, the ANCA has developed many relationships in and around Capitol Hill and identified a wide range of opportunities in the Washington, DC area. The CGP utilizes these resources and contacts to help candidates identify and secure jobs that fit their interests and needs.