PASADENA— The Armenian Educational Benevolent Union Scholarship Fund Committee on August 27 celebrated its 5th Anniversary and announced the 2023-2024 award recipients during a festive gala at the De Luxe Banquet Hall in Burbank, California.
The AEBU Scholarship Fund was established to encourage youth of Armenian descent to pursue higher education, be engaged in the Armenian community, and to give back through community service. This year, 14 recipients—seven in the United States, four in Armenia, and three in Lebanon—were selected from a large pool of highly qualified candidates who had applied nationwide and from overseas.
The Armenian-American selected recipients were awarded their scholarships in the presence of the AEBU Scholarship Fund donors, friends, and family members during the event.
Stepan Hovagimian, Master of Ceremony, opened the event with welcoming remarks.
The formal program began after dinner with a musical performance by the talented Nektarine Chilyan, who delighted the audience playing the qanun and singing a collection of popular Armenian and international songs.
The keynote address was given by Dr. Houri Berberian, who holds the position of Professor of History and the Meghrouni Family Presidential Chair in Armenian Studies, as well as serving as the Director of Armenian Studies at the University of California, Irvine. In her presentation, titled “Education, Scholarship, and Armenian Women at the Forefront,” Dr. Berberian established a connection between the AEBU mission and historical instances of Armenian women’s groups, their advocacy, and their active involvement in promoting education and supporting students.
Afterwards, Hovagimian invited committee members Tatios Koroghlian, Lousine Boyamian, and Karine Kojababian to present the 2023 Scholarship Awards to Sara Aprahamian, Sofia Gevorgian, Ani Hekimian, and Kathryn Sarkissian who attended the ceremony.
Aren Avetisian, Ani Mkrtchyan, and Joseph Tertzakian-Harris accepted their awards via video messages.
Award recipients in Armenia and Lebanon received their awards from the AEBU local chapters in Armenia and Lebanon.
The AEBU 2023-2024 Scholarship Fund award recipients are as follows:
- Sara Aprahamian, Santa Clarita, California. Aprahamian is enrolled in the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, and will be majoring in Entertainment Design: Concept Art. This is a domain where she has observed a noticeable lack of Armenian representation among concept artists. Ms. Aprahamian is a graduate of Saugus High School (GPA 3.91).
- Sofia Gevorgian, Los Angeles, California. Gevorgian will be attending University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and majoring in Political Science, with a Minor in Middle Eastern Studies. Her long-term goal is to study law and pursue a career in the realm of international affairs. Ms. Gevorkian is a graduate of AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School, Canoga Park (GPA 3.95).
- Ani Hekimian, Pasadena, California. Hekimian is attending Pasadena City College and majoring in Biochemistry. She has demonstrated exemplary engagement in community service by devoting her time in Armenian and non-Armenian volunteer activities. Ms. Hekimian is a graduate of Marshall Fundamental High School, Pasadena (GPA 3.83).
- Kathryn Sarkissian, Whittier, California. Sarkissian is enrolled in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and will be majoring in Biology and minoring in Journalism. She will wield her love of writing and reporting to bringing attention to Armenian causes. Ms. Sarkissian is a graduate of the Armenian Mesrobian School in Pico Rivera (GPA 4.42).
- Ani Mkrtchyan, Chevy Chase, Maryland. Mkrtchyan is enrolled in the University of Maryland, majoring in International Business and Marketing. She moved to the United States four years ago due to her father’s military diplomatic term in Washington D.C. Ms. Mkrtchyan is a graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland (GPA 3.88).
- Aren Avetisyan, Chevy Chase, Maryland. Avetisyan will be studying Liberal Arts at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. Aren was born in Stepanakert, Artsakh. He moved to the United States at the age of three, when his father was appointed to serve as Permanent Representative of Artsakh to the United States. Mr. Avetisyan is a graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland (GPA 3.60).
- Joseph Tertzakian-Harris, Alberta, Canada. Tertzakian-Harris is heading to the University of California, Berkeley, to study Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures with a double major in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies. He plans to devote his life to Armenian Studies and educating the public about Armenia through teaching and social media. Tertzakian-Harris is a graduate of J.H. Picard High School in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (GPA 4.0).
- Hagop George, Yerevan, Armenia. George will be attending Yerevan Haybusak University, Medicine Institute, studying general medicine.
- Newart Izmirlian, Yerevan, Armenia. Izmirlian will be attending American University of Armenia with a major in English and Communications. Ms. Izmirlian is a graduate of Sahaguian Levon Meguerditchian College in Beirut, Lebanon.
- Anna Gharibyan, Lechashen, Armenia. Gharibyan is enrolled in the National University of Architecture and Construction in Armenia, majoring in Informatics (Computer Science).
- Nane Petrosyan, Lechashen, Armenia. Petrosyan is enrolled in Yerevan State University, majoring in the Services Education Program.
- Dsovak Keuchkarian, Jal El Dib, Lebanon. Keuchkarian is enrolled in Haigazian University in Beirut, with a major in Social Work. She is a high School graduate of Sahaguian-Levon Meguerditchian College in Beirut, Lebanon.
- Dalida Sharbarashian, Rawda, Beirut, Lebanon. Sharbarashian will be attending Haigazian University in Beirut and majoring in Social Work. Ms. Sharbarashian is a high School graduate of Sahaguian-Levon Meguerditchian College in Beirut, Lebanon.
- Noushig Zadigian, Bourj Hammoud, Beirut, Lebanon. Zadigian will be attending Haigazian University in Beirut with a major in Biology. Ms. Zadigian is a high School graduate of Sahaguian-Levon Meguerditchian College in Beirut, Lebanon.