GLENDALE—On Thursday, May 3, the Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale will host the second annual Award and Appreciation Dinner in order to honor remarkable individuals and a local organization for their notable achievements and commitments to the betterment of the Glendale community. Among this year’s awardees are two exceptional young students, Lilit Bazikyan and Shant Eulmessekian who have both been selected to receive the Youth Activist Award.
Lilit Bazikyan, born in Tehran, Iran, moved to the United States in 2007 with her family. Having parents who have always instilled the importance of community work and volunteering in her upbringing, she found that getting involved in the community is the quickest way to set down roots and settle in her new hometown.
Lilit is currently studying Mathematics at Glendale Community College where she is also involved in various student organizations. She serves as the President of the GCC Feminist Society, where she has created a platform that encourages participation in activism and proactive discussions of feminist issues with an intersectional perspective. She has also served as Vice President of Organizations of the Associated Students of GCC, through which she coordinated the 40+ student organizations, ensuring they had sufficient funds and resources to serve their respective missions. Lilit has also volunteered countless hours for the “Yes on Measure GC” Campaign, which successfully passed the bond that would allow for major improvements at the community college.
Her activism and engagement continues in the Armenian community. During the summer of 2017, Lilit interned at the Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale Chapter, where she had the opportunity to truly showcase her activism, leadership and dedication to the Armenian community. During the internship program Lilit worked tirelessly to help overturn The Americana at Brand’s decision to deny advertisement to the documentary film, Architects of Denial, by voicing her concerns in front of Glendale City Council, drafting letters and press releases, and mobilizing her peers at the Glendale Community College.
Furthermore, Lilit served on the executive board of the GCC Armenian Students’ Association, as Treasurer, where she coordinated the annual budget and ensured that all the organized events are sufficiently funded. She has also served as the Vice President of Glendale High Schools’ Armenian club and was selected as the student leader for Glendale Unified School District’s Armenian Genocide Commemoration committee.
In June 2016, Lilit volunteered in a remote village in the southernmost part of Armenia, teaching commuter literacy to village children, with the Hidden Road Initiative–a non-profit which provides educational opportunities to underprivileged students in Armenia. Throughout the two-week camp, Lilit worked extensively with children and young adults, helping them discover career paths and opportunities in STEM. Additionally, she interned at RepatArmenia and contributed to the organization’s mission in helping Armenians from the diaspora who repatriate and are looking for job opportunities, housing and more.
Lilit’s commitment to giving back to her community and initiating positive change is reflected through her years of service and activism. At GCC she has excelled academically and plans to continue her education at a four year university to earn a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and later a Master’s degree in Economics. Eventually, she would like to play an influential role in economic policies; and believes she can succeed by combining her knowledge of economics and leadership skills.
Shant Krikor Anmahouni Eulmessekian is a sophomore at Glendale Community college and is applying to receive a bachelors in Political Science from UCLA. His activism in the cause began as Armenian club president in Herbert Hoover High School giving speeches at the annual Genocide Assembly for the Glendale Unified School District, as well as spreading the message about the nature and magnitude of the atrocities committed to the GUSD Board of Education. He also played an important role in creating and organizing the school district’s first overnight leadership retreat in AYF Camp.
At Glendale Community College he currently serves as the President of the Scholars Program on Campus, as well as the Vice President of Finance for the Associated Students of Glendale Community College. His responsibilities vary from appropriating the student government’s 5 million dollar budget to overseeing the operations of the 250 member honors program at GCC. Shant also holds a seat as a voting member within the College’s Budget Governance Committee, which oversees and appropriates the colleges estimated 120 million dollar funds. He is currently working on writing a template letter that students from his campus can send to their representatives, opposing the new funding policy the governor of California has released, which can cause mass layoffs at Community Colleges.
Furthermore, Shant is an active member in the Armenian Youth Federation Glendale “Roupen” Chapter. Having recently completed the ANCA Western Region Internship as well as the ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship in Washington D.C., he is also devoted to furthering the cause of Hye Tahd. In Washington D.C. Shant completed the congressional report cards for the ANCA, ranking each congressional member based on their views and policies toward Armenia. Working with his team, he helped lobby against a 1.2 million dollar sale of weapons to the Turkish President’s police force. It was this same police force that he stood and protested against in Sheridan circle, after they violently beat peaceful protestors outside of the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington.
Along with his involvement outside of school, Shant is also dedicated to learning and excelling academically. He has taken multiple honors program courses on campus, and is on track to receive his Associates in Political Science with a 4.0 GPA. His academic interests are reflected by his participation in biweekly lectures on international political affairs, US governmental structures, and history with the GARS Academy. Shant hopes to pursue a degree in law to move the cause of global justice forward through his work in government.
ANCA Glendale will honor Lilit Bazikyan and Shant Eulmessekian at the 2nd Annual Award and Appreciation Dinner along with Dr. Armine Hacopian, Mr. Ardy Kassakhian, Mr. Isahak Kazangian, Mrs. Seda Khojayan and Kiwanis Club of Glendale. The event will take place on Thursday May 3rd, 2018 at Renaissance Banquet Hall. Log on to www.ancaglendale.org/award2018 for tickets and sponsorship opportunities.
The ANCA Glendale Chapter advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels. Learn more at www.ancaglendale.org