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ANC News: Interns Recognized for Answering Call of Duty

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  • ANC News: Interns Recognized for Answering Call of Duty

    PRESS RELEASE
    Armenian National committee of America - Western Region
    104 North Belmont Street, Suite 208
    Glendale, CA 91206
    Tel: 818-500-1918
    Fax: 818-246-7353
    Email: [email protected]
    http://www.anca.org/

    Tuesday, August 31, 2004

    Contact: Armen Carapetian
    (818) 500-1918

    ANCA-WR HONORS 2004 LEO SARKISSIAN AND WESTRN REGION SUMMER INTERNS

    Glendale, CA - The Armenian National Committee of America -Western
    Region (ANCA-WR) hosted a reception honoring this summer's ANCA Leo
    Sarkissian and ANCA-WR interns from the Western United States at its
    offices on August 24, 2004.

    The reception provided the outgoing interns an opportunity to reunite
    with their friends, share their experiences with their family, and be
    recognizedfor their admirable accomplishments by the community. The
    event also allowed attending newcomers to learn about the ANCA-WR's
    mission, programs,and achievements. Finally, the occasion gave
    representatives of the ANCA-WR a chance to formally thank the interns
    for their commitment and proactive involvement in the
    Armenian-American community.

    `We are a rich organization,' said Raffi Hamparian, Chairman of the
    Board of Directors of the ANCA-WR. `Our wealth is derived from the
    highlycapable and active Armenian-American community that has
    successfully continued to pass the baton of responsibility from one
    generation to the next. Through these internship programs, we pass the
    baton to the next generation,' concluded Hamparian.

    Last week marked the end of both the ANCA Leo Sarkissian Internship
    Program in Washington, DC and the ANCA-WR's inaugural summer
    internship program for 2004. For over two decades, Armenian-American
    youth interested in public policy have participated in the Leo
    Sarkissian Internship Program at the ANCA headquarters in Washington,
    DC where they not only learn about the American political system but
    also receive hands-on experience in advancing issues of concern to
    Armenian-Americans within the democratic process. After deliberate
    consideration of each applicant's credentials, this year's ANCA-WR
    internship selection committee accepted Ani Garibyan, Garen
    Kirakosian, Seepan Parseghian, and Shant Taslakian to participate in
    the two-month internship program in Washington, DC.

    Due to the large pool of exceptionally qualified applicants to this
    year‚=80=99s program, the ANCA-WR launched its own summer internship
    program modeled after the Leo Sarkissian program at its offices for
    the first time. With the dedicated coordination efforts of ANC
    activist Argam DerHartunian, ANCA-WRstaff set forth a project-based
    internship program and selected five young Armenian-American activists
    - Nare Avagyan, Nairi Chopurian, Gennadi Gevorgyan, Elina
    Mnatsakanyan, and Lara Talverdian - through a formal application
    process with whom they worked side-by-side for a period of six weeks.

    `Having been former interns in DC, both Argam and Armen knew how
    tocreate the special atmosphere that the ANCA office provides for
    interns,' explained Ardashes Kassakhian, Executive Director of the
    ANCA-WR. `It comes from giving each intern real responsibilities and
    making sure that their input is recognized. People want their work to
    be meaningful and for it to count. Wedo that here regardless of
    whether you are a volunteer, intern or paid staff. We just don't have
    any resources to waste,' stated Kassakhian.

    Both in Washington, DC and in Glendale, the interns were each assigned
    projects reflecting the current work of each of the offices. In
    Washington,DC, interns worked on questionnaires used to gauge
    candidates seeking elected office this fall regarding their stance on
    issues such as the Armenian Genocide, aid to Armenia, and the status
    of Nagorno-Karabagh. In the Western Region offices, Nairi Chopurian
    formulated a volunteer team of activists to begin registering
    Armenian-American voters in the Los Angeles area while Elina
    Mnatsakanyan developed a database of potential grant sources for
    special projects. Both Leo Sarkissian and ANCA-WR interns devised
    tools and strategies that each office could use to improve
    communication with local chapters. On the media outreach end, a number
    of significant improvements were made to the ANCA-WR's media tools,
    and the organization witnessed the publication of Seepan Parseghian' s
    letter to the editor of `The Hill,' one of the most prestigious
    journals covering politics in the country.

    Parseghian's letter was in reference to mistakes and omissions he
    found in an article regarding the Schiff Amendment in which he wrote
    `As a presidential candidate, Bush made a bold promise to accept the
    atrocities committed against the Armenians as genocide. However, as
    president, Bush had many chances to act upon his promise, yet failed
    to do so, breaking his public promise on this human rights issue.'

    The Schiff Amendment is a measure restricting Turkey from using US aid
    to lobby against recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The amendment
    passed the House of Representatives during the internship programs,
    which gave the interns a sense of real accomplishment in applying
    their learned techniques in communicating with Congressional staff,
    community members and the media.

    With the conclusion of this year's internship programs, the graduating
    class of interns began preparing to return to their universities with
    a renewed sense of purpose. `I loved how this internship gave me the
    opportunity to see the inner workings of an organization that has done
    and continues doing so much for the Armenian-American community,'
    stated Narine Avagyan. ‚=80=9CI look forward to doing my part in
    helping the ANCA advocate for Armenians everywhere.

    The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and
    most influential Armenian American grassroots political
    organization. Working coordination with a network of offices,
    chapters, and supporters throughoutthe United States and affiliated
    organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the
    concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of
    issues.

    Photo Attached: From left to right - Garen Kirakosian, Ani Garibyan,
    Seepan Parseghian, Elina Mnatsakanyan, ANCA-WR Executive Director
    Ardashes Kassakhian, ANCA-WR Chairman Raffi Hamparian, SHant
    Taslakian, Nare Avagyan, Lara Talverdian, ANCA-WR Government Relations
    Director Armen Carapetian, and Nairi Chopurian at the ANCA-WR
    reception honoring participants in this year's ANCA Internship
    programs.
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