Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship and Maral Melkonian Avetisyan Fellowship Will Explore Hybrid Virtual/In-Washington, DC Options
WASHINGTON—University students interested in advancing Armenian American policy priorities and experiencing federal-level pro-Armenian advocacy firsthand are encouraged to apply to the Armenian National Committee of America Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship (LSI) and Maral Melkonian Avetisyan Fellowship by April 15.
The eight-week sessions will run from June 14th to August 6, 2021. Detailed information and online application forms are available at anca.org/internship. Students looking for internship opportunities participating in the UCDC Program, CalState in DC, and Pepperdine University DC Programs are also welcome to apply for summer positions at the ANCA. The ANCA summer program will begin on a virtual basis, with the possibility of a hybrid virtual/in-Washington, DC experience based on COVID-19 health considerations.
“The ANCA, building on years of on-line engagement, took our summer internship fully virtual last year, keeping our students safe while also developing best-practices for expanded Armenian American activism,” said ANCA Program Director Alex Manoukian. “This year, we’ll continue to reap the benefits of virtual programs while exploring a hybrid-model to offer a hands-on Washington, DC experience.”
The ANCA’s LSI Summer Internship provides participants a unique opportunity to engage in the public policy issues in the nation’s capital but also allows them to network with the ANCA’s vast network of ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway alumni and LSI alumni residing in the DC area and across the country. For more than three decades, it has been the Armenian American community’s signature advocacy training program, preparing hundreds of leaders who actively advance ANCA policy priorities on campuses and in communities nationwide.
“ANCA’s longstanding LSI Program has served as an advocacy bootcamp for hundreds of promising Armenian students for over three decades, further strengthening our grassroots capacity throughout the country while providing a meaningful and enriching professional experience to the program participants in Washington, DC,” remarked ANCA Western Region Executive Director Armen Sahakyan. “I highly recommend students interested in international affairs, political science, media, and related fields to apply for this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The 2020 ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship and Maral Melkonian Fellowship participants encouraged broad-based civic outreach to Senators and Representatives in support of continued U.S. funding for life-saving demining and rehabilitation services to the people of Artsakh and helped ramp up community advocacy during Azerbaijan’s July attacks on the Tavush region of Armenia. For the first time, the 2020 program included participants from the United Kingdom, enriching the growing and vibrant ANC advocacy efforts there.
“Training the next generation of activists is of the utmost importance to the region. In an effort to support this goal, the ANCA Eastern Region established the ANCA Eastern Region ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship Endowment Fund to secure the financial future of the region’s involvement in the LSI program as we continue to equip our youth activists with the tools necessary to continue the work of Hai Tahd,” said Tamar Gregorian, ANCA Eastern Region Executive Director. “As a former LSI intern myself, I can attest to the unforgettable experience that the program provides including personal and professional growth,” said Gregorian.
Established in 1986 and named after the ANCA Eastern U.S. leader Leo Sarkisian, a pioneer of ANCA grassroots advocacy, 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. It was augmented in 2019 with the establishment of the Marl Melkonian Avetisyan Fellowship, established as a living legacy to a devoted youth leader whose community activism and commitment to the Armenian homeland continues to inspire new generations of young Armenian Americans.
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. During the eight-week Washington, DC program, interns live at The Aramian House, named in honor of the late community leader and philanthropist Martha Aramian of Providence, R.I., and located a short distance from the ANCA’s Washington DC headquarters.
Applications are reviewed and approved by the ANCA Eastern Region and ANCA Western Region Boards, following careful consideration of individual academic records and demonstrated community or campus leadership on Armenian American concerns.
In addition to opportunities in Washington, DC, the ANCA Western Region and ANCA Eastern Region offer internships and fellowships in Los Angeles, CA, Sacramento, CA and virtually throughout the East Coast.