GLENDALE—More than 300 community members gathered at the Pasadena Armenian Center on Saturday, December 12 to welcome over 80 new members to the ranks of the AYF Juniors.
Youth between the ages of eight and sixteen from chapters throughout Southern California gave their AYF Juniors promise, which was officiated by ARF Western Region Central Committee chairman, Dr. Viken Hovsepian.
Hovsepian congratulated the Juniors taking the oath and added, “By officially joining the AYF Juniors, you promise to uphold the ideals of the Armenian people, and to become model Armenians, model students, model siblings, model sons and daughters to your parents, in short, model human beings.” Hovsepian went on to congratulate their parents, stating that in entrusting their children to the AYF, they are ensuring that their education is complete and comprehensive.
In his opening remarks, chairman of the AYF Juniors Central Council, Saro Shirinian expressed gratitude to all chapter Directors for their dedication to the advancement of the organization and its members. As a testament to the quality of the organization’s programs, Shirinian highlighted that just a few months prior, another group of more than 50 youth also joined the AYF Juniors.
Following a set of video presentations about the crucial work being done by the “We Are Gyumri” campaign as well as the activities of the AYF Juniors past and present, AYF Juniors Central Council member Vicken Sosikian relayed the council’s message.
“We bear the responsibility of paving the future as it pertains to our cause,” said Sosikian. “In addition to preparing future activists of the Armenian Cause, we have expanded our programs to include in-depth education in crucial areas such as technology, arts and literature, media, civic activism and finance.”
Following Sosikian’s remarks the attendees enjoyed entertainment and performances by Edvin Petrosyan and Ara Sahagian.
The new members, their parents, AYF Seniors, supporters and ARF chapters from throughout the greater Los Angeles area celebrated as well as provided financial contributions to the AYF Juniors organization.
The AYF Juniors is a grassroots community organization for Armenian-American youth specifically from the ages of 8 to 16 years old. As an extension of the AYF and its core values, the AYF Juniors connect youth with their Armenian heritage, and politically and socially engages them with critical issues facing Armenians.