Dear AEF Members and Supporters:
Happy 2018! We want to start the New Year by summarizing our 2017 accomplishments for you.
AEF completed its 67th year, during which more than $400,000 was allocated to various educational projects. This, of course, could not have been possible without the generous support of individuals like you.
We started 2017 with AEF’s very first Oratorical contest between the five Southern California Armenian high schools. The committee, chaired by Ruby Baghdassarian, was comprised of young energetic members and was a great success. Prizes were awarded to the winners of both Armenian language competition (Holy Martyrs Ferrahian School) and English language competition (AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School.) read more…
In 2017, AEF also funded the construction of a new Kindergarten building in the City of Vayk.
AEF members participated in the official opening of the Vayk Kindergarten Opening Ceremony.
Vayk Kindergarten Opening Celebration
Additionally, through contributions of our sponsors, renovations were made in the Lorut village school and an art classroom was added to the Ujan village school. Since its original renovation in 1999, AEF continues to annually support the Verin Artashat School in the form of scholarships, books, maintenance and improvements through the generous and continuous donations of its benefactor.
Ujan Village School
The number of students sponsored by AEF for full four-year tuition in Armenia and Artsakh increased to 206 students by the end of 2017, which is an increase of 21% compared to the prior year.
Our students continue to contribute to their community through volunteer service which is a required criterion for receiving and continuing to receive AEF scholarships. During the year they plan and participate in numerous volunteer programs. read more…
Students visited soldiers and brought them books and sweets.
Of the 86 AEF sponsored students who graduated in the last two years, 73% are employed and 20% are continuing their studies. They all currently live in Armenia. Other scholarships in Armenia and Artsakh include AEF’s continued financial assistance to 23 Syrian Armenian students studying in Armenia, as well as, scholarships to Computer Science students in Artsakh State University. In order to assist students find employment after graduation, AEF organizes seminars, workshops and discussion groups in Armenia by inviting professionals in a number of fields to help students with career information, potential internships, and mentorship. This includes seminars by Information Integration Group Armenia (internet technology), Ernst & Young Armenia (financial services), Adventist Health Glendale (doctors volunteering at Noyemberyan-medicine) and Branding Yourself (preparing resumes by AEF members Alice Petrossian and Mimi Zarookian).
Recognizing the importance of the IT sector in the economic growth of Armenia and Artsakh, AEF funded an “Armath Lab” in the Darbas Village school (which was renovated by AEF in 2014) where students will learn programming, coding and will be introduced to robotics. The students will also participate in IT competitions and camps where they will meet students from other Armenia and Artsakh Armath Labs. This will prepare the students for a path in the IT sector.
Armath Lab in Darbas School
AEF continued its program of collecting and sending school supplies to village schools in Armenia, Artsakh and Javakhk.
Our annual AEF Endowment scholarships to students in Anjar, Antelias, and the United States was again successful. Also, AEF continued making allocations to Jemaran and Sophia Hagopian Schools in Lebanon, and CASPS.
AEF raised $147,000 at its 2017 fall fundraiser dinner in September. The event was hosted by Mr. & Mrs. Al Cabraloff at their residence in Pasadena. read more… Mr. Neshan Peroomian, a long time board member and the chair of Armenia village school renovation program, was honored during this event. To date, AEF has renovated nearly 200 village schools in Armenia, Artsakh and Javakhk.
AEF held a social event for its members in April 2017, where they enjoyed a wine and cheese reception and a private screening of the movie The Promise.
In October, AEF held its annual Armenia and Artsakh scholarship receptions in Armenia, with over 300 attendees. Scholarship Alumni, AEF members and directors, community leaders, as well as current scholarship recipients participated in the event. read more…
AEF Scholarship Reception
In 2017, two endowment funds were also added. First, the Caroline Tufenkian Fund was established to fund the tuition for two Art History students, studying in Armenia.
The second fund, the Hacop Baghdassarian Scholarship Fund, was established in memory of AEF’s longtime board member and benefactor which will provide scholarships for students in Artsakh.
In November, elections were held for five AEF board member seats, as well as officers. The two new board members elected were Serop Beylerian and Rafik Khatchaturian. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Neshan Peroomian, and Mrs. Aida Yeghiazarian, our two retiring Board members, for their years of service on the AEF Board.
We are preparing for a successful and fruitful 2018 for the AEF programs. We extend our sincere appreciation for your continued support of AEF and look forward to seeing you at our events in the coming year.