AYF Youth Corps to Celebrate 15 Years of Service to the Homeland

PASADENA–The Armenian Youth Federation’s Youth Corps Program will be celebrating its 15th anniversary this year on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm at the Dimejian residence in Pasadena. The event will celebrate milestone achievements and reflect on the monumental impact of the program since its establishment.

“As we look to expand the Youth Corps Program and establish a second camp site in Armenia, it is crucial that we receive support from our community through events like this,” stated Sose Thomassian, director of the Youth Corps program. “We look forward to what will be a memorable evening of celebration,” she added.

The Armenian Youth Federation’s Youth Corps program began in 1994 following the signing of the cease-fire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, ending the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In its first 13 years, Youth Corps sent youth to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic during the summer months to help rebuild many of the newly independent republic’s war-torn villages. Throughout the years the Youth Corps program has grown and developed into the most memorable, productive and exciting means for Armenian youth to establish and strengthen their ties with their homeland.

In 2008, Youth Corps switched gears to focus on building connections between Armenian youth in the Diaspora with their counterparts in the homeland. For two years now, Youth Corps has been operating a free summer day camp for underprivileged children in Gyumri, Armenia. Camp Gyumri, as it has come to be known, gives young Armenians from the United States a chance to make a direct impact on the lives of some of Gyumri’s most impoverished families. This 4 week long program accepts up to 150 children every summer, providing them with a fun and safe environment to make new friends and expand their knowledge.

“If we love our homeland we need to invest in its future and that starts with investing in the children,” said Nora Kayserian, who will be volunteering this summer. “From rebuilding shattered buildings to reviving broken spirits, Youth Corps has made a significant impact on the lives of so many people over the last 15 years. We hope the community will take part in spreading Youth Corps’ mission and helping the program grow.”

Suggested donation for the event is 50 dollars. For more information, including location and time, please RSVP by contacting: youthcorps@ayfwest.org.

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