WASHINGTON, DC — The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program (CGP) continues to grow with the assistance of generous benefactors Apo and Nayiri Saghdejian, who have donated more than $250,000 to the program since 2004. On November 23, 2021, the Saghdejian family presented a donation of $20,000 to ANCA chairman Raffi Hamparian toward the expansion of this unique public policy career development program in Washington, DC — which is named after their late son and brother Hovig Apo Saghdejian.
“The ANCA is proud to honor the legacy of Hovig Apo Saghdejian by providing a world class public policy career program at our national headquarters in Washington, DC,” remarked Hamparian. “We are grateful to Apo and his daughter Nayiri for establishing a program that is consistent with Hovig’s spirit of service and sacrifice,” he added.
“Our family is dedicated to the ANCA and its work to advance the Armenian Cause,” remarked Nayiri Saghdejian. “The ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program is doing great work providing ladders of opportunity to young Armenian Americans. Our family is proud to keep Hovig’s legacy strong by inspiring a new generation of rising leaders,” she added.
The deadline for the winter 2022 session of the Gateway Program, starting in January 2022, is November 30th.
The Hovig Apo Saghhdejian CGP, established in 2003, helps Armenian American college students and recent graduates from across the US pursue careers in public policy through three-month grants of free housing at the ANCA Aramian House, access to the ANCA network of contacts and resources, and hands-on training on how to find work in the governmental, political, policy and media worlds. With the vital support of the Saghdejian family as well as the leadership of program director Alex Manoukian and the CGP Advisory Committee, the ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program has extended its outreach through personal visits and social media across the United States, increasing awareness about the program and the unique career and internship opportunities it offers.
The program is dedicated in honor of Hovig Apo Saghdejian, the 23-year-old student from Fresno, Calif., whose life of community leadership and public service was cut short in July 2004 by a tragic car accident.
The Saghdejian family’s support for the Capital Gateway Program has long been a labor of love, beginning with the establishment of the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Memorial Fund in 2004, which raised well over $50,000 for the program in just a few short months. Since then, family and friends have honored the memory of Hovig’s late mother Rosine Saghdejian, who passed away in 2006, and Apo’s mother Sona Saghdejian, who died in 2010, through additional contributions to the fund. With their most recent gift of $20,000, the fund is now over $300,000. These funds will be held in perpetuity, with only the income being used to finance the participation of young Armenian Americans in the Gateway Program.
Hovig Apo Saghdejian: Inspirational Youth Leader and Community Activist
Hovig Apo Saghdejian was born on Dec. 31, 1980, in Fresno, Calif. Early in life, Hovig became a member of the Homenetmen Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts, and he joined the ranks of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), contributing to the welfare of the Armenian-American community and reinforcing his commitment to his homeland.
He breathed life into the ideals of his youth by working to preserve and reinvent Armenian identity in America, while bringing a sense of optimism to the people of Armenia for a better future. As a volunteer with the Land and Culture Organization, Hovig traveled to Armenia during the summer of 2003 to work as a volunteer in Ayrum, developing infrastructure and self-sustainability for the impoverished population of this village. Beyond the value of the hard work that contributed significantly to the well-being of the villagers, Hovig’s efforts helped bring hope to all he came in contact with that the future held better things for the people of Armenia. Commenting on his time in Ayrum, in a testimonial on the Land and Culture website, Hovig explained, “I know that when I reflect back on this experience I will feel ecstatic about the work we accomplished, the things we saw, and the bonds we forged.”
Hovig attended Fresno City College, California State University of Fresno, and the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in interdisciplinary studies, with an emphasis on economics, philosophy, and film studies. He performed his civic duties by being politically involved, not only with the ANCA but also with Congressman George Radanovich and State Assemblymember Steve Samuelian on campaign and public policy projects.
Hovig enjoyed life, family and friends. He had a special bond with his parents Apo and Rosine and sister Nayiri. He spent his spare time helping his mother at the Adult Day Care Center, and his father with the family business.