GLENDALE—The Armenian Youth Federation Juniors Central Council announced the winners of the AYF Junior Achievers Program for 2017. An initiative, now in its second year, aims to motivate and encourage members of the AYF Juniors to be the best they can be in their academic and career related pursuits.
The AYF JCC received numerous nominations from across the region for categories including technology, athletics, sciences, volunteerism, civic activism, media and the arts.
“We individually interviewed each nominee,” said Sylva Khayalian a member of the AYF JCC. “Choosing the winners for each of the categories was truly a challenge due to the high caliber of each member we interviewed.”
In addition to a symbolic scholarship, the selected Junior Achievers are introduced to accomplished Armenian individuals who in addition to being highly successful in their respective fields, also give back to our nation and people. Through these one-on-one meetings Junior Achievers are given an opportunity to ask questions, receive guidance and feel empowered to go above and beyond in their pursuit of excellence. Last year’s winners met with several well-known individuals including Adrin Nazarian of the California State Assembly, Sona Movsesian of the Conan Obrian Show, and Tony Safoyan of SADA Systems.
Detailed reporting on each winner’s meeting will be announced in future weeks.
Following an in-depth review process, the AYF JCC selected the following winners – brief biographical summaries are included.
Michael Cinquegrani – Montebello Chapter – Technology Sciences
Sixteen year old Michael attends Armenian Mesrobian School. His fascination with science, construction and technology started at a very young age, wherein he began building ships, structural objects and trains out of metal and wood scraps. He is a member of NAMBA 19, a remote control boat racing team, which has offered him the opportunity to build his own boat engines, race his remote control boats competitively and maintain high in the ranks with multiple first place awards.
Alex Guldjian – Orange County Chapter – Athletics
Alex is a sophomore at Mater Dei High School, one of the best basketball programs in the nation. He has been playing basketball since the age of five is currently a starting point guard on his high school team. In addition to being team captain several times, Alex has also been involved in Homenetmen basketball in Orange County.
Lucy Guldjian – Orange County Chapter – Arts
Lucy is a 7th grader at an American Catholic school. Her interest in the culinary arts sparked when she chose to live a healthier lifestyle. She began researching recipes and culinary techniques to recreate recipes, using healthier ingredients. She started a temporary business, baking homemade paleo muffins to sell at a Christmas Boutique.
Isabelle Kouyoumdjian – Orange County Chapter – Civic Activism
Isabelle attends Woodbridge High School where she is active member of the “Mock Trial” team. She has chosen to pursue her education in political science, to then, become an attorney. She has earned several achievements in public speaking, the President’s Education Award Program and as a Debate Team Leader. She wants to devote her life towards the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and help get justice for the Armenian people.
Kareen Manuelian – Pasadena Chapter – Volunteerism
Kareen is an 8th grader at Sierra Madre Middle School, where she has received the President’s Volunteer Service ‘Gold’ Award for addressing the most pressing needs in her community. For the past year and a half, Kareen has dedicated more than 310 volunteer hours to her local assisted living senior center and animal shelter. She has also donated handmade clothes and toys to over 170 homeless animals. She has continuously been an honor roll student and has received many awards for outstanding citizenship and academic excellence. She also is a part of her school’s Mindful Cheerleader Program focusing on practicing to be authentic, present and kind. ed.
Savannah Minassian – Burbank Chapter – Sciences
Savannah is a junior at Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School, where she is an active member of the Philanthropy, Make a Wish, My Artsakh, UNICEF and Armenian Clubs. She has a deep passion for biology and psychology and aims to pursue the study of medicine. She has been a regular volunteer at Saint Joseph Medical Center for more than a year and enjoys interactions with the patients, nurses and doctors.
Tony Ordoukhanian – Burbank – Chapter – Technology
Tony is a freshman at Burbank High School. He is passionate about writing reviews for movies, playing piano and doing math. He loves technology and aims to become a computer scientist at Apple where he can invent revolutionary products.
Antranig Tawekjian – Orange County Chapter – Media
At the young age of 12, Antranig (also known as DJAnto) has been DJ-ing professionally since the age of nine. His passion for music started at two years of age. He loves music but aims to improve songs by altering them with his own touch.
Winners of the AYF Junior Achievers program receive two prizes. A monetary scholarship award will be paired with a unique experience tailored to each winner. Experiences include opportunities to meet, talk with and learn from accomplished and successful individuals from various industries.
“We are proud of the winners of this second cycle of the AYF Junior Achievers program and look forward to seeing all the great nominations we receive in the next round,” said Saro Shirinian chairman of the AYF JCC. “In addition to investing in our members, we view the Junior Achievers program as a vehicle through which we can encourage and motivate our youth to not only pursue education and careers in fields of influence, but to also strive to be the very best in these fields.”
The AYF Juniors strives to nourish its members with experiences, information and resources to become ambitious and successful in their pursuit of civic, academic and career excellence, so they are best equipped to serve our communities, nation and cause. We serve our mission through active participation in our communities and during weekly gatherings held at all ten of our chapters in the Western United States. For more information or to join, visit AYFJuniors.org, e-mail [email protected] or call (818) 500-8883.