GLENDALE—More than $26,000 in scholarships was handed out to 19 college students from Glendale and the surrounding areas by the Homenetmen Glendale Ararat Chapter in an award and luncheon ceremony for the scholarship winners on Sunday, Dec. 7. The event was held in the festive banquet area of Phoenicia Restaurant. At the event, the chapter’s volunteer leaders were also recognized.
Ararat awarded 16 students each with $1,000 college scholarships and three students with awards of $5,000, $3,500, and $1,500. Nineteen students from Glendale and surrounding areas will receive the annual scholarship.
With more than 2,500 members, Homnetmen Glendale Ararat Chapter is the largest chapter within the Homenetmen network in the world. This is the fifteenth year Ararat has given out the scholarships. Homenetmen Glendale Ararat Chapter is a family and youth organization and activity center that offers year-round athletics, scouting, cultural, educational, and wellness activities and programs to youths and adults of all ages.
Among the colleges that the scholarship winners are attending are UCLA, USC, CSUN, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC Berkley, and Drexel University. The winners received their checks and certificates at the ceremony. The winner’s ages range from 17- to 25-years-old.
“There are more than 100 Homenetmen chapters worldwide and the Western United States has 19 chapters, so we are extra-proud and honored to be both the largest chapter and have the most volunteers,” said Armond Gorgorian, executive director, Ararat Chapter. “Yet, unfortunately, so many people in our community and the Southland are not aware of us, so we’re trying to get the word out,” he said.
“We think it’s imperative to help our youth realize their dream of attending and graduating from college. Even though youth athletic programs and scouting helps us in developing young adults with character, integrity and great leadership qualities, academic excellence is always encouraged, so Ararat gives back to our community by providing well-deserving youngsters with scholarships to help with college. It is thanks to our members, donors and local grants that we are in a position to do this every year, said Gorgorian.”
The awarding criteria for the scholarship winners is different for each type of scholarship, but generally the applicants were rated based on GPA, community involvement, a personal statement and recommendations.
As part of the Dec. 7 event, just prior to the scholarship awards being handed out, there was a volunteer appreciation ceremony for volunteers who have taken on leadership roles in Ararat. “This part of the program is not an award ceremony, there are no ‘prizes,’ it is an inspirational appreciation ceremony where we thank our volunteers who are in leadership roles,” said Tomik Abrahamian, chapter executive board chairperson. Included in the volunteer portion of the program will be a man who has volunteered for Glendale’s Ararat for more than 30 years, with 25 years of coaching, and was in charge of Ararat’s year-round youth basketball programs. Another person to be thanked is a 23-year-old woman who grew up in Ararat’s scouts program, moved away to attend college, then upon graduating, came back to Glendale to head and expand Ararat’s entire scouts program.