AYF-ER’s “Arev” Chapter Rising From the Ashes

Michael Mamikonyan, Arden Boyajian, Alec Samra, Zoya Panosyan, Tamar Kassarjian, Vartiter Vardanyan, Celia Boyajian, Milena Shakhnazaryan, Christina Manvelyan and Hamlet Panosyan during one of their final AYF membership meetings of 2019

This past month, the AYF-YOARF Eastern region held its 86th annual convention in Providence, RI. This gathering alone changed my whole perspective on my membership in this beloved Armenian youth organization. I had the opportunity to attend as a first time delegate, and just the mere mechanics of the meetings and the camaraderie amongst delegates from all the chapters sparked a fire in me that I didn’t know was missing.

This past year has been a tremendous one for the Arev Chapter, which has been around since the early 90s; however, over the years, attendance dwindled and members became inactive. It remained that way for almost 15 years, if not more. With that being said, we are so proud that this past year was the first year that our chapter has once again been resurrected. South Florida’s Arev chapter not only inaugurated its first chapter executive since the late 90s, but also had an incredibly successful year.

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I have had the great privilege of serving as chairperson this year. We have attended numerous AYF events such as Junior Seminar, Senior Olympics and Senior Seminar. Our treasurer Kaliana Maronian even had the opportunity to travel to Georgia and be an assistant director at Camp Javakhk. Looking back at 2019, even though we are small, we are mighty! We have worked hard in our community and abroad to make our Arev chapter stand out and become a cornerstone of our community. As we slowly grow in numbers, we will continue to take initiative in our local community by co-hosting events with our sister organizations and hosting more of our own events, like our very first and very successful event—a comedy night with LA-based comedian Antic.

As we start the new year, I look forward to seeing how we will grow and become a more successful, motivated, and inspired group of young Armenians ready to leave a mark! Follow our journey on our social media platforms @southfloridaarev.

Tamar Kassarjian

Tamar Kassarjian

Tamar Kassarjian is a native Floridian and currently studying to become a physicians assistant. She currently holds the executive chair position for the South Florida AYF Arev Chapter; she also serves as the secretary for the ARS Sosseh Chapter, where she has been a member for over five years. Tamar is active in her local Armenian community as an Armenian dance teacher at Arevig Dance Ensemble and an Armenian language teacher at the Sunday school.

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