GLENDALE—Last week, 29 volunteers from the United States arrived in Armenia to participate in the 2016 AYF Youth Corps summer program. Among them are this year’s four recipients of Sosé and Allen’s Legacy Foundation Fellowship supporting volunteerism in Armenia. For three years, financial assistance has gone to deserving diasporan youth who strive to bridge connections between the youth of Armenia and the diaspora. This year’s Fellowship recipients are Vana Bashian, a sophomore at College of the Canyons, Van Der Megerdichian, a sophomore at UCLA, Betty Markarian, a freshman at UCLA, and Alique Cherchian, a junior at CSULB.
Cherchian said, “I never realized what an impactful vehicle the Youth Corps program was in doing so until my first day in Gyumri. I will forever be grateful for the drive and motivation Sosé instilled in me at a young age to continue such a beautiful legacy—to unite the Armenian nation. Receiving this grant is nothing less than a great honor. Because of the inspiration from the beautiful, passionate power-couple, we are the fools who are crossing the river.”
“To see growing numbers of young Armenians make a tangible connection with the country validates the vision and hope that Sosé and Allen lived for. We’re proud to support this great program and are excited to see the impact these participants will have in the years to come,” said Legacy Foundation Director Vaché Thomassian.
The AYF Youth Corps program was established in 1994, in the aftermath of the Artsakh liberation movement to help rebuild the war-torn areas of liberated territories. Since then, the program has been transformed into a summer camp for underprivileged children in various locations across Armenia and Artsakh, including Gyumri, Proshyan and Stepanakert. The program provides a unique opportunity for young women and men from the Diaspora to experience Armenia first-hand and participate in nation-building activities in the homeland. To learn more about the program, visit AYFYouthCorps.org.
Sosé and 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.