BY HAGOP JACK KOUJAKIAN
The Armenian Educational Foundation held a meet and greet in October with university students and their sponsors, who were visiting Armenia from the United States.
My wife Sonia and I had the opportunity to meet our sponsored 30 students. Additionally, we attended the meeting of 25 wounded veterans sponsored by the Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund (AWHF).
Both groups expressed their gratitude: “Thank you, AEF for providing us with this incredible opportunity to attend universities and pursue our studies. Thank you also for lightening the load on our parents by paying our full tuition until we graduate.”
The 30 co-ed university students (16 young women and 14 young men, including six who participated in the 44-day war) seemed extremely motivated and totally focused on pursuing their academic goals. That is, despite experiencing harsh and difficult living conditions. They were extremely grateful to AEF.
The wounded soldiers projected maturity. They seemed gripped with a sense of reality about life, yet confident, patriotic and ready once again to fight and die for Armenia. By fulfilling their military obligation, they are focused now on completing their studies and ready to build a successful career for themselves. One of the veterans said, “Most people love the Fatherland with grandiose words; however, AEF has shown its love with action by providing scholarships for those who served during the 44-day war”.
My wife and I were impressed at the level of sophistication and the display of total self-confidence by both groups. We are confident that all AEF scholarship recipients are destined for success, which certainly bodes well for Armenia.
“Your success is our reward,” as stated by Vahik Petrossian on behalf of the AEF scholarship committee, symbolizes the mission of the AEF to educate our future generation, which is the hope for our homeland. Indeed, the AEF scholarship committee, AEF staff and AWHF are to be thanked for their extraordinary work.
Hagop Jack Koujakian and his wife, Sonia, are San Francisco residents who sponsor 30 AEF scholarships each year.