GLENDALE—Like every summer since 1994 volunteers from the United States travel to Armenia to participate in the AYF Youth Corps summer program. Currently, two dozen young diasporans are organizing camps for children in various locations across Armenia and Artsakh, including Gyumri, Proshyan, and Stepanakert.
Among them are this year’s recipients of Sosé & Allen’s Legacy Foundation Fellowship supporting volunteerism in Armenia. Since 2014, the fellowship has supported those who want to make a change and bridge connections between the youth of Armenia and the diaspora. This year’s Fellowship recipients are Sose Kurdian, a history major at Cal State University, Northridge, Melody Nazarbegian, a biology major at UC San Diego, Sareen Ohannessian, studying environmental management and protection at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and Armine Kalbakian, an anthropology major at Cornell.
“Sosé & Allen’s legacy remains palpable in the homeland and abroad. Though I never had the privilege of meeting them in person, I recall following their journey of repatriation years ago and resolving to do the same in the future. It was a great honor to be one of the recipients of the Youth Corps fellowship in their name and to stand at their memorial in Lovers’ Park, a symbol of the endless growth that stems from a love of homeland,” said Kalbakian.
Before repatriating to Armenia, Sosé & Allen played an integral role in the growth and development of the Youth Corps program. They believed wholeheartedly that the future of the Armenian nation would be strengthened by connecting with the homeland on a human level. Vahe Lepedjian, Youth Corps group leader, affirmed that “the exemplary dedication, maturity, and intellect displayed by the scholarship recipients is not only profound but indicative of the fact that the future of our nation is in good hands.”
Sosé & Allen’s Legacy Foundation works to continue their vision by establishing programs and supporting existing programs aimed at bridging the gap between Armenia and its Diaspora, through an emphasis on education, repatriation, and volunteerism within the homeland.