WASHINGTON–Shant Hagopian, a member of the West San Fernando Valley ANC and a participant in this year’s Leo Sarkisian Internship program, is in Washington this summer supporting the Armenian Cause. Shant was selected in May of this year to be one of four individuals from California to serve in the distinguished ANCA "Leo Sarkisian" Internship Program.
The ANCA-LSI Program is funded by the Armenian National Committee — Western Region. Named after long-time ANC activist Leo Sarkisian, the program brings together young Armenian Americans from across the United States and Canada to gain first-hand experience in the American political system while working on issues of concern to the Armenian American community.
"Shant Hagopian is a shining example of why the ANC is committed to invest in the future of the community," commented ANC-WR Chairman Raffi Hamparian. "Every Armenian American should be proud of Shant and the work he and his colleagues are doing in the nation’s capital," Hamparian added.
Hagopian is a political science major that will be matriculating at the University of California, Berkeley this autumn. Aside from his work with the West San Fernando Valley ANC, he has served as a senator with the student government at Los Angeles’ Pierce College and interned with California State Assembly Member Fran Pavley.
During his time in the nation’s capital, Hagopian has already made a tremendous impact in his efforts. He has played a major role in working with ANCA staff to build support for the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H. Res. 106). Hagopian, with his fellow interns, has been assigned the task of working with local communities to obtain cosponsorship support from five Members of Congress from around the country for H. Res. 106. Hagopian has also traveled to Capitol Hill to personally honor Members of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and recently met with his Congressman, Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA-30). Hagopian and his fellow interns have also attended various lectures as part of an eight part seminar series. The series has featured presentations by
1. ANCA-ER Executive Director Karine Birazian on community activism as a working professional;
2. the Representative of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the United States Vardan Barseghian who provided an overview of the NKR region and the politics between Armenia, Karabakh and Azerbaijan, and
3. U.S. Department of Treasury Senior Economist David Joulfaian presented on the economic status of Armenia.
Now in its 23rd year, the ANCA LSI Program provides student leaders and activists an opportunity to participate in an intensive 8-week program designed to give them the tools necessary to effectively advance issues of concern to the Armenian American community on the federal, state and local level. The LSI Program is a competitive and prestigious internship program and is widely considered to be the best program of its kind for Armenian American college students.
In addition to Shant Hagopian, the 2007 LSI Program participants from the Western United States are Alex Der Alexanian, Dzovak Kazandjian, and Chris Yemenidjian. Joining interns from Canada, Europe and the Eastern United States, the LSI participants from the Western Region have conducted significant and groundbreaking activities in just their first week in our nation’s capital.