Taking the ANCA Capital Gateway Program on the Road to College Campuses

Members of the Boston UniversityArmenian Students Association gather for a picture with ANCACapital Gateway Program Director, Serouj Aprahamian, following hispresentation.

WASHINGTON–Armenian American students at Brown University, Boston College, Boston University, Babson College, and Harvard University learned about internship and career opportunities in politics and the media during a series of Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Capital Gateway Program informational sessions held at campuses throughout the northeastern United States.

Capital Gateway Program Director Serouj Aprahamian coordinated with Armenian Students Association leaders at each of the campuses to arrange the events, as part of the ANCA’s ongoing efforts to inform students about the unique opportunities offered by the program in the nation’s capital.

"For over five years now, the ANCA Capital Gateway Program has been providing young Armenia’s the keys to open doors to the Washington, DC public policy job market," said Aprahamian. "Getting out into the field ‘s interacting in presentations to student groups and one-on-ones with individuals ‘s provides a great chance to share information about the unparalleled advantages this program offers for their future."

Beginning in 2003, the ANCA launched this innovative program to serve as a professional platform for Armenian American college students and recent graduates to secure meaningful policy positions in the nation’s capital. Those accepted into the program receive three months of free housing in addition to personalized job training, access to the ANCA’s national headquarters, and introductions to the vast network of professionals and resources available in Washington, DC.

To date, several dozen fellows have gone through the program and gained employment in a wide range of sectors including Congressional offices, presidential campaigns, political journals, government consultancies, federal agencies, public relations companies, lobbying firms and international development organizations.

In addition to explaining the main facets of the program and going over the application process, Aprahamian also presented each of the student groups with a short, ten-minute DVD video about the Capital Gateway program titled, "Youth of a Nation." The clip features testimonials from previous Capital Gateway fellows, as well as interviews and remarks about the program from elected officials and ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

On each of his visits, Aprahamian also distributed information and spoke about the ANCA’s other youth-oriented programs, such as the Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship in DC and the recently unveiled CampusCause.com (www.campuscause.com) website. Both of these initiatives are specifically geared toward fostering activism among students devoted to advancing the Armenian Cause.

The presentations were all well received by each of the student groups visited throughout the week. Several students expressed an interest in public policy and, upon hearing about the program, made clear their intent to apply as they moved closer to graduation. Others took the opportunity to ask general questions about ANCA advocacy.

Established through a generous donation from the Cafesjian Family Foundation, the Capital Gateway Program, over the years, has benefited tremendously from the generosity of donors committed to creating public service opportunities for young Armenian Americans. The leading financial contributor to the Program has been the family of Hovig Apo Saghdejian, a 23-year old youth leader and community activist from Fresno, California, who lost his life in 2004 in a tragic car accident. His family established the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Memorial Fund in his memory. Substantial support has also been provided by longtime ANCA benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Barbara Hekimian and the Armenian American Veterans Post of Milford, Massachusetts (AAVO).

For more information on the opportunities available through the ANCA’s Capital Gateway Program or to download an application, please visit www.anca.org and click on the "Capital Gateway" link. You can also contact the Capital Gateway Program Director, Serouj Aprahamian, directly at serouj@anca.org or (202) 775-1918.

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