Empowering Unity: Highlights from the 2024 AYF-YOARF Council Weekend

AYF Eastern Region Council Weekend attendees

WATERTOWN, Mass.—The Armenian Youth Federation-Youth Organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (AYF-YOARF) has begun planning its initiatives for 2024. 

On January 20, more than 40 AYF members from across the Eastern United States converged in Watertown, Massachusetts to participate in this year’s Council Weekend. Members from all of the AYF-YOARF’s Central Councils gathered at the Hairenik Building to discuss and shape the programs that will define the upcoming year. 

The councils tackled a wide variety of projects, addressing the needs of AYF Senior and Junior membership and discussing ways to improve from the previous year. From initiatives that focus on educational programs to planning Hai Tahd events, this weekend served as an opportunity for members to bring their ideas to fruition while establishing connections with other dedicated AYF members. From beginning to end, the meetings were filled with stimulating and positive energy from each member for the new year, with the anticipation of turning these new and exciting ideas into impactful realities.  

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As the meetings came to a close, the attendees headed to Providence, Rhode Island to support the Providence AYF-YOARF annual “Varantian” Ball. After a long day of hard work, the Council Weekend participants socialized and enjoyed the “Varantian” Ball alongside the local Providence community.

Council members offered their thoughts on the weekend.

“Council Weekend was a great space to connect with new ungers from all across the region in the heart of the region, the Hairenik in Watertown, to come together in person to work on advancing all of the continued hard work and success of the AYF. It was so great to see so many ungers from all across the region coming together to continue to uphold all pillars of the AYF.” – Leana Hacopian, Central Educational Council 

“It was a very cool experience, getting to work with my council in person and lay out the groundwork for the year. This weekend made me excited for what’s to come, and I’m very grateful I get to play a part in helping the organization run.” – Aleen Soulakian, Central Camp Haiastan Council 

“Attending Council Weekend was such a great experience, and it helped to jump start so many creative ideas that all of our great ungers have. Coming together in spaces like this continues to promote our ungeragan spirit throughout the whole region.” – Jero Mouradian, Junior Seminar Council 

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“I truly enjoyed meeting in person with the Central Camp Javakhk council and creating a plan for how we are going to ensure the best summer possible for our campers this year. Ending the weekend with the ‘Varantian’ Ball was such a fun and meaningful celebration of the AYF.” – Mimi Bijimenian, Central Camp Javakhk Council

“Council weekend was successful and productive! I had a great time collaborating with fellow AYF members on both Educational and Junior Councils and working together to plan a well-coordinated year.” – Talar Hovsepian, Central Educational Council

“As a first-time member of a council and as an attendee of Council Weekend, I found that it unfolded as a truly unique experience. Working with the rest of my council, I felt I was accepted with open arms while being guided through the process of not only working with a council, but what the council does overall. The event not only broadened my perspective, but also provided a valuable introduction to the dynamics of my council’s specific activities and efforts within the AYF.” – Vartkaes Pamboukian, Central Junior Council 

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“Council Weekend was a great opportunity for our council, allowing us to meet in person, get to know each other, bounce ideas off each other, and was a start to a successful year.” – Nicole Santerian, Central Camp Haiastan Council 

The invigorating energy of the weekend, combined with the collaborative spirit of each member, served as a catalyst for optimism and renewed determination for the new year. The AYF-YOARF Eastern Region is ready for another successful year.

Founded in 1933, The Armenian Youth Federation is an international, non-profit, youth organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). The AYF-YOARF Eastern United States stands on five pillars that guide its central activities and initiatives: Educational, Hai Tahd, Social, Athletic and Cultural. The AYF also promotes a fraternal attitude of respect for ideas and individuals amongst its membership. Unity and cooperation are essential traits that allow members of the organization to work together to realize the AYF’s objectives.

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