October has become an exciting and inspiring time for the Armenian Educational Foundation throughout the years, and this year was no exception. This October, 35 AEF members and supporters traveled to Armenia to meet with AEF scholarship recipients and alumni, and witnessed firsthand the many successes of AEF’s programs.
Established in 2007, the AEF scholarship program provides full tuition scholarships to students attending universities in Armenia, Artsakh, and Javakhk. This year, AEF’s generous scholarship sponsors awarded scholarships to 430 deserving students.
On October 2, 450 individuals attended the scholarship reception, including scholarship recipients, recent graduates, AEF members, and scholarship sponsors.
The formal program commenced with a buffet reception, where scholarship sponsors had the opportunity to connect with their respective students to discuss their achievements and future plans.
High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Zareh Sinanyan welcomed the benefactors and students and identified AEF’s initiatives as a significant contribution to the future of the Armenian nation. “As an Armenian, I am truly grateful that we will enjoy the results of AEF’s work for a long time. Dear students, our benefactors believe that by supporting you, they are building the Armenia we all dream of and in turn, good citizens,” said Sinanyan.
Representing the AEF Scholarship Alumni, Taguhi Ghazaryan, a member of the National Assembly (Parliament), and Tigran Asatryan, a member of Yerevan City Council, thanked AEF and the scholarship sponsors for providing the much-needed financial support for students to complete their higher education.
Scholarships are not given as a one-time allocation, but rather a four-year investment in these students. The sponsors alleviate the students’ financial concern which allows them to focus and excel in their studies.
Scholarships donated through AEF create a unique bond between recipients and their sponsors, creating relationships that develop and grow over the four-year period. Donors witness and revel in the achievements of their sponsored students.
“It was particularly exciting when Vahik Petrossian, the chair of the AEF Scholarship Committee, invited scholarship recipients who had served in the Armenian military to stand, and were given a standing ovation by their peers. We all thank them for their service,” stated Apo Boghigian, Director of Civilnet. These 50 military veterans, whose studies had been interrupted by their military service, were able to return and continue their education with the help of AEF.
“The leaders of AEF are enthusiastic and inspired by the smiles of young students and their academic successes. They plan to recruit new donors and give more young people a chance to attend university. They will succeed, no doubt,” remarked Boghigian.
On October 4, a group of members and sponsors participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly renovated Saratak Village School.
The school, attended by 205 students, was chosen to be the home of a new Armath laboratory. Unfortunately, the school’s roof was heavily damaged by winds and rain, causing extensive damage to the classrooms and gymnasium.
AEF members, Vahik and Alice Petrossian sponsored the funding for the renovations in memory of George and Tania Petrossian. The newly renovated facilities provide a safe and nurturing environment for students to thrive, as well as, a new home to an Armath Labratory. Longtime AEF member, Neshan Peroomian, supervised the construction of the new roof and school interior, costing $80,000.
During the unveiling, the school principal and staff thanked the Petrossian family and AEF for their dedication to renovating the school and providing the students with new classrooms and a gymnasium. The students welcomed the guests with dance and poetry performances, followed by a tour of the school’s facilities, including the newly installed AEF Armath Engineering Laboratory.
For 70 years, AEF has been providing financial assistance to Armenian students and educational institutions. AEF’s 70th Anniversary will be celebrated on January 26, 2020 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. For more information, please contact the AEF office at 818.0242.4154 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.