GLENDALE—The Armenian Cultural Foundation’s “We Are Gyumri” committee announced the recipients of the 2019 – 2020 Mina Shirvanian Scholarship, which allows bright young students from Gyumri and the Shirak Province to obtain higher education within the homeland. The current recipients are twelve individuals, which includes five new recipients, and seven continuing scholars. Since the scholarship was launched in 2015, there have been a total of 27 scholarship recipients, of which 13 students have graduated.
The current recipients of the We Are Gyumri Mina Shirvanian Scholarship are:
- Hrachya Chamakyan, a 23-year-old from Gyumri who is studying math at Shirak State University. Hrachya is a veteran of the April 2016 war and teaches programming to the students at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
- Romik Harutyunyan, a 23-year-old from Artik who studies design and decorative applied arts at the Gyumri branch of Armenian State Academy of Fine Arts. Romik is also a veteran of the April 2016 war. He teaches painting at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
- Ani Sahakyan, a 20-year-old from Gyumri who studies finance at the Gyumri branch of Armenian State Economic University. She likes to sing, dance, and play instruments. Her passions are reflected in her piano lessons at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
- Seda Sahakyan, a 21-year-old from Gyumri who studies management at the Gyumri branch of Armenian State Economic University. In addition to her volunteer work teaching math at the Shirvanian Youth Center, she volunteers at World Vision Armenia and is the PR Manager for the Gyumri Technology Center.
- Ani Khachatryan, a 19-year-old from Anushavan who studies finance at the Gyumri branch of Armenian State Economic University. Ani has recently become a member of Homenetmen scouts and leads the Homenetmen group at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
- Anahit Muradyan, a 20-year-old from Tavshut, who studies philology at Shirak State University. She loves to read and tutors the young students at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
- Katerina Adamyan, a 21-year-old from Gyumri who studies English-Armenian translation at Shirak State University. She is interested in foreign languages, including German and Polish, and teaches intermediate English at the Shrivanian Youth Center. When she’s not studying or teaching, Katerina spends time volunteering in the local AYF chapter.
- Marine Nikoghosyan, a 19-year-old from Kaqavasar who is studying management at Shirak State University. Marine likes writing, drawing, reading, and dancing, and will help organize the Shirvanian Youth Center’s various events. Marine also tutors children at the Emili Aregak Center, which focuses to foster the integration of children with multiple disabilities and their families into society so that they are treated equally.
- Anahit Hovhannisyan, a 23-year-old from Gyumri who is studying Cinematography at the Gyumri branch of Yerevan State Institute of Theater and Cinematography. She will channel her passion for photography into documenting the Shirvanian Youth Center’s various events.
- Levon Bejanyan, a 19-year-old from Gyumri who is studying management at Shirak State University. Levon also volunteers for World Vision Armenia and is a member of Shirak’s writer’s union, as well as a published author. He is the leader of the Booklovers Club and organizes dance performances at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
- Julieta Muqoyan, a 20-year-old from Gyumri who is studying English-Russian translation at Shirak State University. She likes reading and watching movies, and teaches English to the children at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
- Seryoja Gharaghyozyan, a 21-year-old from Gyumri who is studying social science at Shirak State University. He has played chess for more than 10 years and is passing on his talent and passion for the game to the children of the Shirvanian Youth Center during his classes.
Scholarship recipients were selected after an application process that included interviews, as well as questionnaires about the students’ field of study, personal achievements, their decision to pursue their education in the Shirak province, volunteer experience, grade point average, family circumstances, and military service and background.
The “We Are Gyumri” committee is proud of these scholars and excited to see each student continue to excel academically and as members of their communities. Most importantly, the scholarship recipients spend their time volunteering at the Shirvanian Youth Center, where they pass their knowledge, experience, and love for their homeland to the future generation.
This scholarship program was launched in 2015 and was renamed in honor of the late Mina Shirvanian in 2018. Shirvanian was a community leader, activist, and benefactor who dedicated most of her life to helping young Armenians reach their goals.
The Scholarship Fund, strictly available for Gyumri residents, is designed to encourage the youth in Gyumri to further their education without having to leave their homeland. The annual tuition is $750 per student. To sponsor a student or donate to the Mina Shirvanian Scholarship Fund, please send a check payable to “ACF” to ACF Shirak Youth Center, 104 N Belmont Avenue, Suite 300, Glendale, CA 91206.
The mission of the “We Are Gyumri” committee is to create a positive and lasting impact on youth in Gyumri, Armenia. The campaign restructured and renovated the Shirvanian Youth Center in Gyumri that had been destroyed during the 1988 Spitak earthquake. A year-round functional program was created at the center to teach youth in Gyumri everyday skills, to provide them with the essentials they need for a brighter future, and to serve as a bridge between youth in Gyumri and their peers in the Diaspora. As another component of the campaign, the “We Are Gyumri” Mina Shirvanian Scholarship Fund is intended for residents of the Shirak Province to pursue their undergraduate education in their native region. “We are Gyumri” is an ARF Western U.S. initiative.