This year, Armenian Educational Foundation (AEF) awarded one million dollars in scholarships to over 1,000 students. The majority of scholarships were awarded to students attending public universities in Armenia, including 185 Artsakh war veterans. Scholarships were also awarded to students at the French University and American University of Armenia, as well as students from Javakhk attending universities in Tbilisi. Additionally, AEF provided scholarship recipients with laptops to help with their studies.
AEF’s Yerevan office received over 1,700 qualified scholarship applications. Scholarship recipients are selected based on a mathematical model, which ranks student based on various criteria, such as their socioeconomic status, factors such as single parent households, multi-children families, students from outside Yerevan (villages), parents’ participation in Artsakh war, as well as accomplishments in the areas of academics, leadership, community and military service. Upon completing the selection process, AEF wire-transfers each student’s full tuition directly to the university. This year, the top 600 candidates were interviewed over a two-week period.
The success of AEF’s scholarship program is dependent on the generosity of over 150 benefactors, with support ranging anywhere from one student up to 30 students each year. One of AEF’s major scholarship sponsors, Hagop Koujakian of San Francisco, wrote, “Three years ago, my wife Sonia and I made a commitment to sponsor 10 student scholarships through AEF. We did this in memory of our parents Abraham & Verjine Koujakian. Since then we have come to connect with each student via Facebook, video, emails and letters. The connection has been very emotional and uplifting for us. We hope to travel to Armenia in 2022 and meet and greet our students face-to-face. In the meantime, Sonia and I will increase our commitment to sponsoring an additional 20 students starting 2021-22 academic year and on. A total of 30 students per year.”
Scholarship recipients write thank you letters to their sponsors every year. Furthermore, AEF encourages and facilitates scholarship sponsors to meet their sponsored student when visiting Armenia.
“It was such a pleasure for us to finally meet our AEF students in Yerevan. Their warm smiles and expressions of sincere gratitude truly made our trip to Armenia even more special. We were proud to learn about each of their academic accomplishments and how their individual areas of study have impacted their lives. Meeting the students makes us proud to be Armenian and gives us tremendous hope for a bright future for our homeland,” stated Dr. Katherine Panossian, sponsor of five student scholarships.
AEF scholarship recipients are required to volunteer and engage in community service, and in doing so have helped those most in need, including, serving at orphanages, tutoring students, assisting the elderly and disadvantaged families. Just last year, AEF students successfully delivered food & supplies to 1,800 vulnerable families in various cities & villages in Armenia.
AEF is very grateful to all scholarship sponsors who donate $1,000 per year to pay the full tuition for each student. The achievements of AEF’s scholarship recipients are a testament to the hard work and efforts of the Armenian Scholarship Committee members, who volunteer their time to ensure a fair and objective selection process.