Cambridge-Yerevan Sister City Association Hosting Young Activists from Armenia

Cambridge, Mass.— The Cambridge-Yerevan Sister City Association (CYSCA) will be hosting five young activists from Armenia for a grant program focused on activism and leadership. A facilitator will assist the young people in orientation with American customs and traditions. Funding support will be provided by the “Open World” (OW) program of the U.S. Library of Congress, CYSCA, and its team of volunteers. The OW program is administered by the U.S. Library of Congress and managed by its OW Leadership Center to enhance understanding and cooperation between the United States and countries of Eurasia. The program, initiated by OW and implemented by CYSCA, aims to give the participants first-hand exposure to America’s democratic government and free-market system to Eurasian leaders as an instrument for Americans engaged in citizens’ diplomacy.

A key goal of the program is to develop activism and leadership capability of young adults in government and activist organizations by engaging them with U.S. counterparts. CYSCA has designed a program of visits and meetings with various organizations and individuals in the Greater Boston area, including the Pioneer Institute, Common Cause, Amnesty International, Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, ACLU, State Senate and House leaders, and numerous other organizations and individuals. Presentations at the various meetings planned by CYSCA will engage the participants in activism and transition to leadership issues, showing how young adults can become activists in a society that is changing in relevant and interesting ways since the Velvet Revolution.

The participants, ranging in ages 21 to 27 are from various backgrounds. They have been selected by the U. S. Embassy for their leadership potential. They are: Yuri Avagyan, communications manager, Restart Student Initiative, Yerevan; Levon Chukaklyan, co-founder, Restart Student Initiative, Yerevan; Astghik Isakhanyan, project coordinator, Rights Information Center NGO, Goris; Garik Miskaryan, foreign affairs specialist, Restart Student Initiative, Yerevan; Alla Yeremyan, manager, Basen Hotel, Sisian; and Liana Sahakyan, facilitator for the group, currently resource coordination specialist at the US Embassy in Yerevan.

“We look forward to meeting these outstanding young adults and introducing them to their counterparts in our area to help them develop their activism and leadership skills and gain knowledge and understanding of issues facing young adults in activism in our area”, stated Alisa Stepanian, CYSCA Program Director.

CYSCA is a sister city association partnered with the city of Yerevan since 1987. Over the past 30 plus years, CYSCA has hosted over 20 professional development programs, 10 school partnerships/student and teacher exchanges, environmental programs, school aid projects, business/entrepreneurship training, and numerous cultural projects and humanitarian assistance for Armenia. CYSCA is a non-profit organization based on the premise that citizen’s exchanges on shared values transcend political and other governmental hurdles in our worldwide societies in the furtherance of civil rights and democratic principles. Click here for more information about the OW program or contact Alisa Stepanian ( 

This article is a press release submitted to the Armenian Weekly and has been published to our community news section as a courtesy. If your organization has news it would like to submit to the paper for consideration, please email us at Please note that this service is reserved for organizations that engage in not-for-profit work in the Armenian community. Publication is not guaranteed.

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