By Gevorg Chichyan
(Hayern Aysor) – The first “Armenia. Create Together” youth forum, held by the Armenian Ministry of Diaspora, in association with the Armenian General Benevolent Union, Luys Foundation, and Ayb Foundation,
took place on July 11-14. Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) Regional Director Arpi Vartanian delivered a speech during the “Advocacy and Media” panel, entitled “Advocacy in the USA,” leading a discussion with a room full of young Armenians from all over the world.
In an interview with Hayern Aysor, Vartanian said that the Armenian students were smart, educated, and business-minded from the first day of the forum. They stood out with their intellectual questions that impressed the speaker.
“Unquestionably, Diaspora Armenian youth are concerned about their future and the future of Armenia. They were asking how they could help empower Armenian communities of the Diaspora and contribute to Armenia’s advancement in their respective countries of residence. I am charmed by the young Armenians. We need to make every effort to support them,” Assembly Regional Director Vartanian said.
Vartanian also presented the Armenian Assembly of America’s
programs targeted towards Armenian youth. “To assure young Armenian Americans how important their role in society is, in 1987, in Washington, D.C. we started implementing student programs. By engaging them in different kinds of activities, we helped them gain international working experience and establish contacts with each other.
By working with Congressmen or Senators in the summer, the youth understood that officials were taking their voices into consideration and listening to them express their opinions.”
Vartanian added that the Armenian Assembly of America had launched its first student internship program with the same goals in Armenia in 1999. Through this program, young Diaspora Armenians visit Armenia and Artsakh in the summer to see the sites worth seeing and historic and cultural sites. At the end, they have a picture of how they can serve their Homeland and the Armenian people.