GLENDALE—Hovsep Hajibekyan, a senior at UC Berkley, is one of seven students participating in the 2009 Summer Session of the Armenian National Committee-Western Region’s Internship-Externship Program (ANC-WR IEP). He joins the program, which began on June 15th this summer, as a Public and Media Relations Intern. Through the program, Hajibekyan will not only be gaining experience in public and media relations but also learning about current Armenian American issues.
“I wanted to make a positive contribution to my community,” says Hajibekyan, “and the IEP provides me with a great opportunity to have hands-on experience with the day-to-day operations of the ANC-WR.”
As part of his involvement in the ANC-WR IEP, Hajibekyan is working on a series of individual projects. For his main project, Hajibekyan is working with the US Census Bureau to raise awareness of the upcoming 2010 Census and highlight its importance for the Armenian American Community.
“I am looking forward to setting up this community outreach event and it is an exciting opportunity to be able to work with a federal government office to help empower our communities,” said Hajibekyan
He will also be leading the ANC-WR media monitoring efforts this summer as well as writing press releases covering ANC events and activities in the community.
Hajibekyan is attending UC Berkley as a Political Science and Music major. He feels that the rigor of the classes at his school has prepared him well for his internship with the ANC-WR. He also believes that his musical studies have helped him strengthen his Armenian identity and influenced his involvement with the Armenian American community.
Along with being an active member of his UC Berkeley’s Armenian Student Association, Hajibekyan has been active with the Armenian National Committee of the San Francisco Bay Area. He has volunteered with the Armenian National Committee of America during which he assisted US Representative Jackie Speier’s election campaign.
“Several of my friends had been interns previously and they spoke about the rigor and effectiveness of the IEP program,” he says. “I knew from them that the interns become full participants in the civic engagement effort, not just spectators.”
Although Hajibekyan is not positive as to what he will do after he finishes at Berkeley, he does know that he will continue his education. He plans to attend either law school or graduate school to study diplomacy.
Hajibekyan also plans to remain active in both the ANC and the Armenian American community in general after completing the ANC-WR IEP. He feels that the experience in working with communities that he will gain from the program will help him stay involved in the future.
The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
PHOTO CAPTION: ANC-WR IEP 2009 Summer Session Intern, Hovsep Hajibekyan