ANC-WR Interns and Externs Lead key Initiatives

LOS ANGELES–Armenian National Committee – Western Region Internship-Externship Program participants have reached the mid-point of the 2008 Summer Session. Working at the ANC-WR offices in Glendale, CA and in the field, the program participants have accomplished a great deal in the past several weeks including voter registration and community outreach across the greater Los Angeles area.

The interns and externs immediately started tackling their individual project assignmen’s which ranged from working with community organizations like the Glendale-Ghapan Sister City Association and the Armenian National Committee Professional Network (ANC PN) to raise awareness regarding current events. This included the Congressional hearings for newly nominated US Ambassador to Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch, attending a public lecture by RAND Corporation’s counterterrorism specialist Brian Michael Jenkins and authoring position papers on US-Armenia relations and self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"I can’t believe that we’ve come this far. It seems like just yesterday it was the first day. I have learned much in the past five weeks and I plan on continuing to contribute in the weeks to come," said Hovanes Gasparian, a Community and Government Affairs Intern this summer.

Gasparian, along with fellow program participants Amy Kaladzhyan, Shant Karnikian, Mikael Kourinian, Araz Parseghian, Armine Sargsyan, and Tamar Tavlian have registered voters and kept the community informed about several initiatives including the ongoing ANCA End the Gag Rule campaign. They have done so by participating in several community events including the First Republic Independence Day Festival in Little Armenia this past June as well as the Homenetmen Navasartian Games held this past July 4 weekend.

"The effects that youth activists have on our political process are really underestimated. It is great to see motivated young Armenian-Americans showing a commitment and desire to work for Hai Tad," noted Vache Thomassian who delivered a presentation on campus activism. Thomassian is an ANC-WR volunteer, former ANCA Leo Sarkisian Intern and current Central Executive member of the Armenian Youth Federation Western Region.

In the coming weeks, the ANC-WR interns and externs will participate in meetings with public officials, learn more about organizations making a difference in the community, lead media review seminars with fellow interns and program alumni and participate in various community events including the Los Angeles Mayor’s Day of Service in Little Armenia.

The ANC-WR is currently accepting applications for the 2008 Autumn Session. Individuals can learn more about the program and download a digital copy of the application by visiting http://www.anca.org/gateway/gateway_overview.php.

Established in June 2006, the ANC-WR IEP is a selective and intensive program that provides student leaders and activists with an opportunity to participate in an internship 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 Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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