WASHINGTON–The Leo Sarkissian and Ani Ardhaldjian Internship Programs began on June 23 with the arrival in Washington of Armenian American college students from throughout the United States–reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
During the course of their six-week program–these students will take part in the ANCA’s daily work–acquire valuable political skills–interact with the Washington foreign policy community–and participate in the Armenian American community life of the nation’s capital.
They will return to their home communities with the skills–knowledge–and motivation to advance the Armenian Cause into the next generation.
The internship program consists of a broad range of activities–including lectures given by historians–government officials–as well as by Armenian Americans involved in political life.
The interns are also assigned individual and group work projects and are provided with opportunities to experience the memorials and other sights of the city.
Three interns are from Fresno–California: Cristina Jelladian–a senior at California State University-CSU–majoring in law; Anoush L. Ekparian–a junior at CSU-San Francisco–and; and Alik Hovsepian–a junior at CSU-Fresno–majoring in mass communications. Tsolin Nalbantian from Penn Valley–Pennsylvania is a junior at George Washington University–majoring in Middle Eastern Studies. Tamar Harutunian from Queens–New York is a junior at Queens College CUNY–majoring in law. Tamar is the 1997 Ani Ardhaldjian intern–a program established in memory of the community activist and educator Ani Ardhaldjian.
"For the first time–through the work of the ANC–I feel as if I’m doing work that truly makes a difference and helps my people," said Tamar Harutunian.
"I am very pleased that I am a part of such an organization that truly accomplishes their goals," stated Tsolin Nalbantian. "I know that when I leave for Cairo–in September in pursuit of my dreams–I will take with me–and hopefully mold into my ethic–the determination I have learned here," added Nalbantian.
"What we are learning and encountering is extremely important and is fundamental to the very essence of Hai Tahd movement and to achieving the goals set by this grassroots organization," said Anoush Ekparian.
"Once this internship is over I will do my best to use what I learned on a more local level; thanks to this challenging–yet exciting–experience," declared Alik Hovsepian.
"I am proud," said Cristina Jelladian–"that I was a part of such a beneficial group and had yet another opportunity to learn more about what it is to be an Armenian today. I am inspired by the determination shown by the ANCA organization and feel that an asset so valuable to the Armenian community needs more continuous support so that it can continue to grow."