PASADENA—When Talar Shanlian steps into the new Pasadena Armenian Center she feels at home with her Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) family. Talar is a talented and dedicated member of the Pasadena Nigol Touman AYF chapter, which has served to educate and inspire local Armenian Americans for over three decades. Twice a month, over thirty members of her AYF chapter gather at the new Pasadena Armenian Center to participate in educational and social activities that unify Armenian American youth. Founded in 1933, the AYF smartly bridges the drive for Armenian liberty with the bedrock American value of public service.
“What makes the new Pasadena Armenian Center different is that the AYF can call it ours,” remarked Talar Shanlian, who serves on the chapter’s educational and social committees. “Also, as a Homenetmen member, after my AYF meetings, I can go to the center’s gym and join my basketball practices, all under one roof. I feel like this center is a stepping stone for even better things for the Pasadena Nigol Touman AYF chapter,” Shanlian added.
The Pasadena Nigol Touman AYF Chapter has been active at the new community center over the past several months. Recently, the chapter hosted an educational by AYF Central Executive member Vache Thomassian who discussed what drives AYF members to serve their community and advance their common cause. Within the next several weeks the chapter will hold a joint meeting with the Orange County Ashod Yergat AYF Chapter. This summer the chapter is planning a fundraiser to support the outstanding work of the AYF Youth Corps program.
“The importance of the new Pasadena Armenian Center to the AYF is that it is attracting more youth to get involved,” shared Vatche Labbad, who serves as the chapter’s President. “The new center is really a youth center, where we can achieve more, together. The new center feels more like a home for our Nigol Touman AYF family,” he added.
“Our center provides a safe, open environment for youth to be active and engaged in the lives of their peers and their community,” commented longtime Pasadena AYF member Berj Parseghian, who now serves on the AYF Western Region’s Central Executive. “The Pasadena AYF fills athletic, social, cultural and educational needs of the Armenian youth of Pasadena. Our members have opportunities to spend time together at our center playing basketball, helping the community, educating themselves and others, and building lifelong relationships. The center is a place for our youth to be inspired and inspire in return, a chance to pass skills, knowledge, and love that goes from one caring individual to another, and why not, a place to feel at home!” Parseghian added.
The mission of the Pasadena Armenian Center is to serve the dynamic and diverse Armenian American community in the City of Pasadena. A number of distinguished community organizations are based out of the Pasadena Armenian Center. These organizations include, but are not limited to, the Armenian Youth Federation “Nigol Touman” Chapter, the Armenian Relief Society “Sosse” Chapter, the Hamazkayin “Shahan Shahnour” Chapter, the Homenetmen “Azadamard” Chapter, and the Armenian Cultural Foundation, among others. Additional information regarding the Pasadena Armenian Center, situated at 2242 East Foothill Boulevard, can be secured by visiting the center’s Facebook page or the center’s Web site.