WASHINGTON, DC — Just days after the landmark U.S. House adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.296), Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Programs Director Sipan Ohannesian traveled to New England university campuses to offer insights about how the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program (CGP) and Leo Sarkisian Internship (LSI) can help kick-start careers in public policy and expand the Armenian American professional presence in the nation’s capital.
The Gateway Program, now in its 16th year, has helped hundreds of recent university graduates start careers in policy, politics, and media in Washington, DC – offering housing, enrichment seminars focusing on resume preparation and networking, and personalized mentorship as part of its full-service career development program.
The Armenian Relief Society Eastern Region’s celebrated Norian Youth Connect Program, held at Yale University, was the first stop of the ANCA’s New England tour followed by presentations at Harvard University, Brown University, Boston College and Northeastern University. At each location, Ohannesian took time to answer questions regarding the Armenian Genocide Resolution and next steps in securing proper U.S. affirmation and justice for this crime, then focused on the challenges and opportunities available for students interested in careers in the nation’s capital.
“Special thanks to the ARS Eastern Region and Armenian Students Associations on each of the campuses for offering the ANCA an opportunity to share the successes of the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program in expanding the Armenian American professional presence on Capitol Hill, in think tanks and policy centers across Washington, DC,” said Ohannesian. “There were so many excellent questions about first-steps and next-steps in pursuing careers in Congress or the Administration – from securing staff positions to seeking elected office. The ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program is proud to provide the resources that will help our youth reach their fullest potential in government, public policy, politics and media.”
Ohannesian capped off the New England trip with remarks at the ANCA Eastern Region Banquet where 2019 ANCA Eastern Region Leo Sarkisian Interns (LSI) were honored for their leadership. Ohannesian noted the LSI’s pivotal work over the summer in securing passage of the four amendments that helped expand aid to Armenia and ensure the security and viability of the Republic of Artsakh. Many of these Summer LSI’s returned to Washington, DC – on a moment’s notice – to join ANCA National and Regional Board Members, and alumni of the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program for intensive lobbying in the run-up to the October 29th Armenian Genocide Resolution vote.
Launched in 2003 with a founding grant by the Cafesjian Family Foundation, the ANCA CGP has helped hundreds of Armenian American professionals from across the U.S. explore career prospects in Washington DC. Gateway Program fellows are offered three months of free housing at the ANCA’s Aramian House, located in the heart of Washington, DC in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, just blocks from the ANCA offices. The Capital Gateway Program Advisory Committee (CGPAC), comprised of a rotating group of program alumni, coordinates a series of career placement workshops on a range of issues including resume and cover letter preparation, effective interview strategies and networking. The CGPAC also connects fellows with mentors most closely aligned with their career goals for one-on-one advice and encouragement
The ANCA CGP is named after Hovig Apo Saghdejian, a beloved young community leader who lost his life in a tragic car accident in 2005 and whose eternal memory continues to inspire new generations of Armenian Americans. His family generously established the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Memorial Fund and, over the past decade, has played a vital role in the expansion of the program. Substantial support has also been provided by longtime ANCA benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Barbara Hekimian and the Armenian American Veterans Post of Milford, Massachusetts (AAVO).
Established in 1986, the ANCA Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship (ANCA-LSI) program, provides student leaders and activists an opportunity to participate in an eight-week intensive program designed to give them the tools necessary to effectively advance issues of concern to the Armenian American community on the federal, state and local level. 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 Leo Sarkisian 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.
The 2015 purchase of The Aramian House was made possible through a generous donation by the family of the late community leader and philanthropist Martha Aramian of Providence, Rhode Island. The Aramian family – led by sisters Sue, the late Margo, and the late Martha – have long been among the most generous benefactors of ANCA programs as well as of charitable projects in the Armenian homeland and the Diaspora.