Haroutioun and Elizabeth Kasparian Summer Program to Welcome High School Students to Washington, D.C. this August; Applications Due June 1st
Due to overwhelming nationwide student interest, the third annual Armenian National Committee of America Haroutioun & Elizabeth Kasparian Summer Academy has expanded to two sessions this August – offering Armenian American high-school students, seventeen to nineteen years of age, an insider’s look at advocacy and career opportunities in the nation’s capital.
Applications are available online and must be submitted by June 1st. The first session of the week-long program will take place from July 31 to August 4, while session two will be held from August 7 to 11.
“The ANCA is eagerly awaiting the next cohort of participants,” said ANCA Associate Programs Director Tatevik Khachatryan. “This year is unique because we are offering two sessions for our participants. The intensive one-week session welcomes the best and brightest Armenian American students to our nation’s capital, teaching them valuable skills that can be transferred and applied to their academic work.”
The ANCA Summer Academy is limited to 10 students per session with the strongest academic records and with the strongest background in community youth activism, including participating in the Armenian Youth Federation, Armenian churches and organizations, schools, student groups, and individual initiatives.
ANCA Summer Academy participants will stay at the ANCA Aramian House, a landmark property in downtown Washington, D.C. which serves as the home and permanent headquarters of the ANCA’s signature youth programs. The Aramian House is named in honor of the late community leader and philanthropist Martha Aramian of Providence, Rhode Island.
Past Summer Academy participants have explored Armenia and Artsakh’s diplomatic challenges and opportunities in discussions with former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans and Artsakh Representative to the U.S. Robert Avetisyan. In the past, Big Whig Media founders Ken and Keith Nahigian discussed the broader Washington, D.C. political media scene and effective communication strategies during a tour of their state-of-the-art multi-media studio located just blocks from the White House. Dr. Khatchig Mouradian, the Armenia and Georgia Area Specialist at the Library of Congress has also spoken to program participants.
The program will involve direct engagement with federal policymakers, ANCA experts, and a range of professionals who are involved in matters related to both the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh. The Academy will also benefit from presentations from both those who have worked on issues related to the Armenian Cause for decades and those who are currently working in Washington, D.C. on contemporary matters. Summer academy participants are also introduced to a wide range of career opportunities on Capitol Hill, international development, advocacy, and consulting by accomplished Armenian Americans in each of the areas.
Participants from the 2022 Summer Academy class discussed the academic and community impact of the program. Arev Buchaklian from Wisconsin explained, “I think, in a way, Summer Academy made me more Armenian. I learned things about Armenia, politics, and Artsakh that I have never learned before, and met some very influential people. This is only the beginning of my journey with the ANCA, as I will absolutely be applying to more of their programs in the future.”
Alique Stepanian from Massachusetts explained, “The Summer Academy provided me with such a diverse and fulfilling experience of getting more deeply involved in the Armenian-American political field and the Armenian Cause.”
New York participant Andrew Sarkissian concurred, noting “Participating at the ANCA summer academy equipped me with the skills necessary to make a real difference to Hai Tahd through the U.S. government.”
Arda Tazian from California concluded, “Being a part of the ANCA Summer Academy in Washington, D.C. has been an incredible experience. It gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and better understand ways to advocate for the Armenian community, while simultaneously bonding with others who share my passion for the Armenian Cause.”
Videos from the 2022 ANCA Summer Academy participants are available on the ANCA’a YouTube page.
The ANCA Summer Academy is named in honor of Haroutioun and Elizabeth Kasparian in recognition of their lifetime of selfless service and sacrifice for the Armenian community and cause, through a generous grant by their daughter and son-in-law, Arsho and Adour Aghjayan and grandson Nareg. It is the latest in the series of youth empowerment and career development programs including the Leo Sarkisian Internship Program, Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program, Maral Melkonian Avetisyan Fellowship, and the ANCA Rising Leaders Program – which features the Lucine Kouchakdjian Capitol Hill Day.