The ANCA at the Olympics

Left to right: Mari Bijimenian, Anais Boyajian, ANCA executive director Aram Hamparian, Armen K. Hovannisian

The Armenian National Committee of America- Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) was proud to be at AYF Olympics in Providence to further Hai Tahd advocacy efforts, recruit new Rapid Responders and inform members of the Armenian community about the ANCA’s numerous youth empowerment programs.  

As a grassroots organization, the ANCA works on the national, regional and local levels to fight for a free, independent and united Armenia. One prominent way to help advance Hai Tahd is through the ANCA’s Rapid Responder program. Every time the ANCA posts an action alert on issues ranging from stopping military aid to Azerbaijan to freeing Armenian POWs, rapid responders receive a 24-hour preview of letters being sent on their behalf to lawmakers on Capitol Hill. At AYF Olympics in Providence, the ANCA-ER team worked to add to the over 50-thousand responders by informing people about the Rapid Responder program and signing them up on the spot.

The ANCA team also spent the long weekend informing participants about the ANCA’s many internship opportunities. At the ANCA table inside the Providence Convention Center, our team answered questions about its internship programs and encouraged young members of the community to get involved. The Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship, Maral Melkonian Avetisyan Fellowship, ANCA Haroutiun & Elizabeth Kasparian Summer Academy, Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Fellowship and ANCA Rising Leaders seminar all provide Armenian American youth with opportunities to explore careers in Washington, DC while working on pro-Artsakh/Armenia advocacy.  

Through the Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship, interns participate in an eight-week program in  Washington, DC. This past summer, the interns played a key role in the passage of the bipartisan Pallone Amendment to the US House FY2022 foreign aid bill, prepared advocacy videos to promote activism within the community and coordinated over 100 meetings to connect constituents with their Congressional representatives. Leo Sarkisian interns also participated in seminars led by diplomats, legislators and Armenian American professionals. The ANCA Summer Academy provides a similar program for one week in Washington, DC for high school students interested in learning more about Hai Tahd advocacy and careers in the nation’s capital. Participants at AYF Olympics were interested in learning more about how to be involved with the ANCA’s advocacy efforts. The ANCA’s presence at AYF Olympics in Providence reminded the community that anyone can be an activist for the Armenian Cause.

Mari Bijimenian

Mari Bijimenian

Mari Bijimenian is a senior at St. John's University in Queens, New York. Mari was a former ANCA Leo Sarkisian intern. She currently serves on the ANC-NY board. She is an active member of the AYF and serves as secretary of the AYF New York "Hyortik" Chapter. She also teaches at Suzanne and Hovsep Hagopian Armenian School at St. Sarkis Church.
Mari Bijimenian

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