BY PATTYL APOSHIAN-KASPARIAN
There’s always a time in one’s life, when a mentor comes along—someone who inspired you, motivated you and made you a better individual. So far, so good! My parents inspired and encouraged me and provided all the resources necessary to become an outstanding citizen and strong Armenian.
But this is a two-fold statement.
My parents couldn’t and shouldn’t do it all. Fortunately, they made wise choices. Hence, my modified opening statement.
It comes a time in one’s life, when an organization comes along with a purpose that stimulates you and compels you to go above and beyond your capabilities for the betterment of yourself and the community.
I started St. Mary’s Armenian School—now known as Richard Tufenkian Pre-School at the sweet age of three. I was admitted as a tenacious, strong-willed girl with hundreds of interests and graduated 12 years later from Chamlian Armenian School as a curious, resilient and confident teenager who was enthused to change the world while standing rooted in the values most important to our community– family, culture and academics.
If Chamlian and its after-school activities were not enough, I joined Ararat Homenetmen, AYF and Hamazkayin Dance.
My years of scouting left me with a confidence in both my intellectual and my social abilities—an assurance that I never could have gained without the weekly Sunday meetings, summer camps, leadership seminars and social activities. My Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) years provided me with strength and unrivaled opportunity for personal growth. It transformed the way I felt about the world and my community, about what I can accomplish and more importantly, the profound impact I can make.
It was with the organization, leadership and support of the AYF that I created ever-lasting memories– from the ashy fire pit at AYF Camp to my first ever trip to Armenia.
My Armenian National Committee of America years exposed me to politics. It granted an arrogant, book-smart university Junior her first taste of freedom—as a Leo Sarkissian ANCA intern in Washington D.C. From meetings on Capitol Hill to mock trials to the strongest lobbying efforts, the ANCA uncovered a mask of local, state and national drudgery for our national interests.
Until today, amongst my social circles are my friends from Ararat Homenetmen, AYF, Chamlian and the ANCA. The individuals who partake in perfecting my life have passed through the discipline, education and influence of our extended ARF family.
I witness the power of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) through the accomplishments all around me. From my local print shop owner who prints my family’s most treasured pictures to my graphic designer who works around the clock to meet my deadlines to the Emergency Room doctor who cares for my daughter during unexpected childhood accidents—the ARF surrounds us.
We are everywhere. From academics to business owners to vice presidents to attorneys to teachers to activists to our humble and dedicated volunteers, we carry the influence of the ARF with us. It is with my organizational family that I’ve experienced the best of the best.
Look around you. I’m confident that the ARF influence is a part of YOUR everyday life too!
Please join the Armenian Cultural Foundation on Sunday, December 5 to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the ARF at the Beverly Hilton. For more information, please contact (818) 243-1890.