Momentum Grows As Students Explore Public Policy Career Options through the ANCA’s Signature Programs in DC, CA and Across America
WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is filling the holiday season with a chorus of career opportunities as its 30-university tour continues, promoting a wide range of professional development programs, including the signature Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program and the Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship Program in DC, the Walter and Laurel Karabian Fellowship in Sacramento and a host of regional internship programs across the United States.
“The ANCA is one of those unique organizations that allow you to intern or kick-start your career, not just in one city, but across a multitude of locations,” said ANCA Program Director Tereza Yerimyan. “During this tour, we are helping Armenian American youth to truly see the practical value of the professional development opportunities the ANCA offers. From internships in Los Angeles and Washington, DC to fellowships in Sacramento and DC, and a virtual research internship available online, the ANCA is your public policy career hot spot.”
As students prepared for their Thanksgiving breaks, Yerimyan and ANCA–Western Region (ANCA-WR) Communications Director, Dickran Khodanian, took to schools, visiting campuses in Northern and Southern California to discuss internship and career development opportunities. Khodanian, both an alumnus of the ANCA Leo Sarkisian and Capital Gateway Programs spoke of his experiences at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and California State University, Northridge (CSUN).
“We greatly appreciated the visit by the ANCA. Our members majoring in various fields were able to learn about the different opportunities that the organization has to offer, both in DC and in Glendale,” said Anna Juliette Garibyan, President of the UCI Armenian Student Association (ASA). “We look forward to seeing our students join the internship and volunteer programs offered by the ANCA!”
Taking the coastal route, Yerimyan shared her experiences as a Leo Sarkisian alumnus and shared success stories of current and past Capital Gateway Fellows, encouraging graduating seniors to consider either Sacramento or DC as career options. Students from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of LaVerne took a break from studying to start planning out the rest of their futures.
“The ANCA plays such a pivotal role within our Armenian-American community. As the Cal ASA President, I always strive for my members to find ways to better our community,” noted Harout Pomakian, UC Berkeley ASA President. “I admire the ANCA because they have a place for everyone who is willing to contribute by offering multiple programs and internships.”
The northern California leg of the tour wouldn’t be complete without visits to UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz, where ANCA-WR Legislative Affairs Consultant Haig Baghdassarian and ANCA SF Chair Matt Senekeremian discussed local opportunities and explained the work of the ANCA.
“There are many opportunities which provide valuable experience right here in California, including internship programs at the ANCA-Western Region, and some local chapter internship programs as well,” remarked Baghdassarian. “Just as the Capital Gateway Program provides an entryway to positions in our nation’s capital, so does the ANCA-WR Walter and Laurel Karabian Public Policy Fellowship open the doors for our youth in Sacramento. If you are interested in public policy and working for a state legislator, then this program is for you.”
Founded in 2016, the ANCA Western Region’s Walter and Laurel Karabian Fellowship is a 9 month experience in Sacramento, California that offers Armenian-Americans the opportunity to enhance their leadership and professional skills. The purpose of this fellowship will be to produce professionals in the public policy and political arena. Participants will be provided a stipend to assist with housing and living costs.
Heading East, Yerimyan then traveled to Boston, where she participated in a panel discussion at the Armenian Relief Society’s (ARS) Norian Youth Connect Program hosted at MIT, focusing on the broad range of volunteer opportunities available to Armenian-Americans have here in the U.S and in the Armenian Homeland. Over 70 students from the U.S. and Canada gathered to learn from the experiences of those who had participated in the AYF Eastern Region internship, Birthright Armenia, ARS Camp Javakhk, and the ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program.
From MIT, Yerimyan then headed to Harvard University and Princeton University and then headed back to the nation’s capital for a presentation with the newly formed ASA at Georgetown University. Earlier, Yerimyan had also presented at the University of Maryland, at presentation coordinated by ANCA Leo Sarkisian alumna Mari Tikoyan.
“Tereza’s presentation at Princeton on the Capital Gateway Program and other ANCA initiatives opened my eyes to the possibility of making a real impact on the global Armenian cause while embracing the local Armenian community in DC and jumpstarting my career,” said Princeton ASA President Jack Jundanian. “The variety of immersive work experiences, the mentorship model, full housing support, community events, and the professional connections that the program fosters all make the Capital Gateway Program an unparalleled opportunity.”
Launched in 2003 with a founding grant by the Cafesjian Family Foundation, the ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program has helped over 200 Armenian American professionals from across the U.S. explore career prospects in Washington DC. Gateway Program fellows are offered three months of free housing at the ANCA’s Aramian House, located in the heart of Washington, DC in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, just blocks from the ANCA offices. Yerimyan and the Capital Gateway Program Advisory Committee (CGPAC) coordinate a series of career placement workshops on a range of issues including resume and cover letter preparation, effective interview strategies and networking. The CGPAC also connects fellows with mentors most closely aligned with their career goals for one-on-one advice and encouragement.
For university students interested in a quarter/semester in Washington, DC, the ANCA CGP can assist with internship guidance and placements both at the ANCA headquarters and other public policy and government institutions. Students are offered up to three months of free housing at The Aramian House depending on space availability and along with assistance to ensure they meet their university program obligations.
The Capital Gateway Program’s winter, 2018 session is set to begin on January 8. Additional information about the ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program is available at anca.org/gateway or by emailing [email protected]
The ANCA CGP is named after Hovig Apo Saghdejian, a beloved young community leader who lost his life in a tragic car accident and whose eternal memory continues to inspire new generations of Armenian Americans. His family generously established the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Memorial Fund in his memory and, over the past decade, have played a vital role in the expansion of the program. Substantial support has also been provided by ANCA benefactors Dr. Vahakn Shahinian and the Shahinian Family; Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Barbara Hekimian; and, the Armenian American Veterans Post of Milford, Massachusetts (AAVO).
Established in 1986, and named after the ANCA Eastern U.S. leader Leo Sarkisian, who spearheaded grassroots advocacy for more than four decades, the LSI program is a cornerstone of the ANCA’s nationwide efforts to educate, motivate, and activate Armenian American youth to expand advocacy efforts in their hometowns and campuses. The eight-week summer internship program held at the ANCA Washington DC will take place from June 18th – August 10th. The participants work on a wide variety of projects based on their individual interests while gaining hands-on experiences within the American political system. A bi-weekly lecture series features guest lecturers, including Members of Congress, Ambassadors, and Armenian-American leaders. Applications are available at anca.org/internship and due on March 1st.
Washington DC Capital Gateway fellows and Leo Sarkisian interns stay at the ANCA’s Aramian House, made possible through a generous donation by the family of the late community leader and philanthropist Martha Aramian of Providence, Rhode Island. The Aramian family – led by sisters Sue, Margo, and the late Martha – have long been among the most generous benefactors of ANCA programs as well as of charitable projects in the Armenian homeland and the Diaspora.
The ANCA-ER also offers full- and part-time virtual internships for undergraduates, advanced-degree students, and recent graduates who are interested in gaining practical research experience. Interns conduct short- and medium-term research on assigned topics and have the flexibility of working remotely. The internship runs for four months (with a possibility of extension), with average workload expected to be 10 hours per week.