Volunteering & Activism at the Top of the Homenetmen Centennial Youth Forum Agenda

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Volunteering & activism at the top of the Homenetmen Centennial Youth Forum

Volunteering & activism at the top of the Homenetmen Centennial Youth Forum

LOS ANGELES—The Homenetmen Western U.S.A. on Tuesday announced the second in a series of panels – “Mobilizing the Future: Elevating Your Cause Through Activism” – at its Centennial Youth Forum, aimed at educating and elevating youth through volunteering and activism.

Moderator Dr. Talin P. Kargodorian, currently principal of Vahan and Anoush Chamlian Armenian School, will be joined by former Armenian Youth Federation Central Executive member Joseph Kaskanian, Founding Board Member of the Homenetmen Youth Committee Varand Avanesian, Hyer United Board Member Meher Khechadori, Bridge of Health President Robert Agaverdian, and ALL-Armenian Student Association Advisor to the Executive Board Ripsime Biyazyan. The forum is planned for June 23 at the Woodbury University Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium.

The representatives will discuss the power of volunteering, activism, and avenues through which participants can get involved. In addition, they will share their respective organization’s past and present challenges, successes, and goals for the future.

“We are very proud to host the youth forum during a milestone year for Homenetmen,” stated HYC committee member Soseh Khachaturian. “We look forward to creating an environment to discuss the successes and challenges faced by Armenian youth in the diaspora. We also view the forum as an opportunity to share ideas of how to increase our impact in local communities and in our homeland,” she added.
Before her role as advisor to the executive board, Biyazyan served as chair between 2016 and 2017, vice chair between 2015 and 2016, director of public relations between 2014 and 2015, and as Occidental College’s representative between 2013 and 2014. All-ASA aims to unite various Armenian college organizations and serve the greater Armenian community through cultural, social, educational, and activist programming. The organization takes steps in achieving this goal through various sport-competitive and educational retreats, Armenian cultural shows, and other fundraising events that support Armenian foundations and projects. One such project has been renovating a small sporting area in the Medovka village in Armenia through the funding of tricolor Armenian graduation cords made by artisans in Dilijan.

All-ASA continues to fund and guide numerous philanthropic initiatives in the United states and in Armenia, and also offers qualified high school and college students with scholarships to help cover their educational costs.

Kaskanian’s involvement with AYF dates back eight years, starting with the South Bay Potorig Chapter and currently the Pasadena Nigol Touman chapter. He was also part of the AYF Central Executive for two terms, serving as a liason to the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region board, for which he is currently a board member.

AYF has a long history of youth engagement and action. The organization strives to advance the goals of a free, independent and united Armenia, and is dedicated to the principles of freedom, democracy, self-determination, economic justice, and social equality. It is also committed to the moral, social and intellectual advancement of Armenian youth, accomplishing this objective by promoting activities based on its five long-standing pillars: political, cultural, educational, athletic and social. With a legacy in community involvement that dates back more than eighty years, AYF has organizational structures in more than 17 regions around the world.

Agaverdian founded the Bridge of Health organization with a few friends. The organization is run by young, determined minds that are dedicated to creating lasting change for pediatric cancer patients in Armenia. From experienced nurses to driven students, its members are united by a common interest in the health and well-being of every child.

Bridge of Health acts as a link connecting pediatric cancer patients in Armenia with the life-saving medical advances and resources available in the United States and combines the expertise of leading pediatric oncologists with the financial resources necessary for optimal care and recovery.

As a founding member of HYC, Avanesian is part of the core committee responsible for galvanizing Homenetmen scout and athletic alumni in order to re-involve them in the organization and to serve the community. The committee was established in 2015 as Homenetmen’s third wing.

Khechadori founded Hyer United with his friend, Tomik Vertanous, in 2013. The organization is dedicated to the development of Armenia’s infrastructure and functions on the basis that “by promoting growth on an individual level,” it can foster “outcomes that will ensure autonomy and self-reliance” in assisted regions. It is comprised of professionals who share a core value of providing assistance and teamwork. Hyer United’s primary focus is providing support to various rural regions of the Republic of Armenia, which lack resources that are more readily available to Armenians in other parts of the country. Its mission is to continue in the effort of contributing to the infrastructural development and preservation of Armenia’s independent statehood, as well as that of other third world nations, by identifying and rebuilding developmental challenges. It’s many projects also include offering aid in Artsakh via NGOs.

Kargodorian’s background in youth mobilization precedes her. She is a long time member of AYF, Homenetmen, and is also an AYF Youth Corps alumna. As principal of Chamlian, she is part of in institution committed to providing students with the highest quality of education in a nurturing environment where students can learn and grow. The school also offers a strong, WASC-accredited academic program in all core subject areas, as well as a strong Armenian Studies curriculum that includes courses in language, history, and culture.

The announcement comes a week after the organization announced the attendance of attendance of three community leaders and activists for its Armenia-Diaspora relations panel, “Empowering the Future: Your Step For a Stronger Armenia,” featuring Director of the Sosé and Allen’s Legacy Foundation Vaché Thomassian, Volunteer Public Relations Coordinator for the Hidden Road Initiative Margarita Baghdasaryan, and political consultant and former ANCA-Western Region Executive Director Elen Asatryan.

The Youth Forum is part of a series of events for Homenetmen Western Region’s centennial anniversary. Additional details on the forum and other panels are forthcoming.

The forum will be followed by an innovative, historical exhibition – open to the public on September 16th; an all-day street festival on the same day of the exhibition opening; the Navasartian Games and Festival from July 3th-7th; and a Victory Ball on July 1. Centennial activities will conclude with the official Centennial Celebration Programs scheduled for October 5th in Northern California and October 28th in Southern California at Glendale High School.

In the coming week, Homenetmen Western U.S.A. will also launch a website that will house the details for each of its centennial celebration and major events for the year in an effort to provide a space for community members to get active with all things Homenetmen. Community members are encouraged to check back with www.WeAre100.info. For sponsorship opportunities visit call (510) 858-4003 or email sponsorship@weare100.info .
For up to the minute updates, follow Homenetmen on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HomenetmenUSAWR and Instagram at @Homenetmen_Western_USA.

The Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts, referred to as Homenetmen, is a 501 (C)3 non-profit organization founded in 1918, which has to date served over 800,000 youth in five continents. Homenetmen Western Region currently has 19 chapters. It is the largest Armenian athletic and scouting organization in the United States.

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