ANCA-WR Internship-Externship Program’s Spring Session Off to Strong Start

GLENDALE–The spring session of the Armenian National Committee of America — Western Region’s internship program is off to a strong start. Participants in the regional Internship-Externship Program began the session on January 22. Participants were selected from a pool of applicants to the program and included students from across southern California. Established in June 2006, the ANCA-WR IEP is a selective and intensive program that provides student leaders and activists with an opportunity to participate in an intensive program designed to provide an in-depth introduction to Armenian American issues as well as advocacy efforts on the federal, state and local level. The program hosts spring, summer, and autumn sessions. The spring session is a fourteen week program features a weekly lecture and seminar series as well as special events. "We are pleased to welcome so many qualified participants to the program this session," noted Haig Hovsepian, ANCA-WR Community Relations Director and IEP Coordinator. "In just a couple of weeks, each of the participants made an impact within and beyond their assigned areas of specialization." Within the first weeks of the program, participants were already hard at work helping organize press conferences and helping coordinate regional outreach efforts to secure co-sponsors for the Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res.106) now introduced in the US House of Representatives. This past weekend, they joined Hovsepian in Sacramento at the California Republican Party’s spring convention. There, they and other local ANC leadership met with party leadership and GOP presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani. The ANCA-WR IEP 2007 spring session’s participants are Andre Arzoo, Tina Avanessian, Hovhannes Harutyunyan, and Chris Yemenidjian. Andre Arzoo, a political science major at Glendale Community College, joins the program as an extern assigned to the Genocide Education Project (GenEd, www.genocideeducation.org). In this capacity, he will be working with GenEd to further its educational mission ensuring that the Armenian Genocide is taught in American high schools. Tina Avanessian, an economics major at the University of California at Irvine, joins the program as an intern assigned to Public and Media Relations. In this capacity, she will be working with the regional staff organizing and facilitating efforts to raise awareness regarding the ANCA’s activities. Hovhannes Harutyunyan, an economics and English double-major at Glendale Community College, joins the program as an Extern assigned to the Foundation for Economic Development, which operates the California trade office facilitating business development and ties between California, Armenia, and the former Soviet states. Christopher Yemenidjian, a political science and English double-major at El Camino College, joins the program as an Intern assigned to Community and Government Affairs. In this capacity, he will be working with the regional staff to build relationships with community groups and government officials to aid in the organization’s advocacy efforts. Chair of his local, Torrance AYF chapter, Yemenidjian anticipated starting the program. Since October 2006, Hovsepian has led presentations on college campuses throughout California and reached out beyond to other Western Region states introducing students to the ANCA and informing them about the regional and national internship programs. Emphasizing the region-wide nature of the IEP, Hovsepian noted that the 2006 summer session of the program included participants from outside of California. "As part of the ANCA’s mission to build strong grassroots activists, I encourage students from throughout the Western Region to apply to the ANCA-WR IEP and the ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship Program," said Hovsepian. Deadlines for the 2007 summer sessions of both programs are March 1st. More information about and applications for these programs are available online by visiting the "Capitol Gateway" section of the ANCA website (www.anca.org).

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