Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region
104 North Belmont Street, Suite 200
Glendale, California 91206
PRESS RELEASE +++ PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: May 14, 2013
Contact: Elen Asatryan
ANCA-WR OPENS APPLICATION PERIOD FOR 2013 SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) announced today the opening of the application period for the ANCA Western Region 2013 Summer Internship Program. Interested individuals may apply online at www.ancawr.org/internship by the June 7, 2013 deadline.
“The ANCA-WR internship provided me with an introduction to the conduct and responsibilities that are expected in the professional work atmosphere and exposed me to the inner workings of politics at the grassroots level. It was a very rewarding experience, and I made lasting friendships with my fellow goal-oriented interns,” stated former ANCA-WR Intern, Aram Hovasapian.
During the 10 week program, interns will gain experience in non-profit management, government affairs, community organizing and education, communication, media, and planning and executing events. In addition to individual and joint projects, interns will participate in workshops featuring a variety of guest speakers including public officials, ANCA leadership, and specialists from the community. In successfully completing all internship program requirements, participants may receive school credit.
Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 23 and be able to dedicate 30 hours per week to the program. The 2013 Summer Session will commence on June 17, 2013 and will run through August 23, 2013. Applications must be submitted electronically by Friday, June 7, 2013, 5:00pm to be considered.
For more information about the 2013 Summer Session of the ANCA Western Region Internship Program, please e-mail the program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 818.500.1918.
To read about some of the experiences and reflections of former interns, visit http://ancawr.wordpress.com.
Established in Summer 2006, the ANCA Western Region Internship Program is a selective part-time leadership program, which introduces high school seniors, college students, and recent college graduates to all aspects of the public affairs arena. The program provides an opportunity for student leaders and activists to gain an in-depth understanding of the American political system, Armenian-American issues and advocacy efforts on the local, state and federal levels.
The Armenian National Committee of America-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 ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
By: Maria Martirosyan
“A House divided cannot stand” – Abraham Lincoln
As Executive Interns at the Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region office, my fellow interns and I have multiple responsibilities and deadlines which we must meet on a weekly basis. Besides writing blogs, managing the twitter account, producing media reports, answering telephone calls, meeting with elected officials, and working extensive hours at events, interns are responsible for completing a main project – and that is taking the Hye Votes project to the streets of Los Angeles and getting eligible Armenian-Americans registered to vote.
It has been an interesting experience registering individuals to vote. From the many different things that have occurred during my time registering people, one thing that has captured my attention on multiple occasions is section 9 of the voter registration form. This section requires the individual to fill in the oval of the political party they are affiliated with and as expected, most people filled in the oval for either the “Democratic Party” or the “Republican Party”.
More often than not, people make their decision of which political party to belong to based on the influence of their family members, peers, and other social influences. It seems as if so many people are slow to think and quick to act upon choosing what political party to affiliate themselves with and are blind to see the harms caused by labeling oneself with any one political party.
In his 1796 farewell address, President George Washington warned Americans against the formation of political parties. He realized that polarized politics would result in aggression and hatred amongst the politicians and people, ultimately dividing the country. Yet still Americans chose to support and go by the system of political parties, and as foreseen by George Washington, the political parties became as polarized as can be – engaging in intense rhetoric and actions that cause lasting hostility, hate, and turmoil. Till this day, such rivalry hinders cooperation between political parties and the ability of reaching consensus on important political matters.
Battling it out on the playing field, political parties have become much like sports teams, and the voters have become loyal fans of one team or the other – usually despising the opposing team. This is generally true because when an individual joins a one political party, they automatically dislike the other and once election season arrives, people almost never consider voting for candidates from another party due to the mindset of “us against them”. This mindset which causes antagonism towards candidates of other political parties and stops voters from truly evaluating political candidates based on who they really are and their stand on political issues. It is important for people to understand that not all candidates have pure leftist views or pure rightest views and it is imperative that voters really take time educating themselves about each candidate prior to voting. As well, it is critical that voters comprehend that they should not feel obligated to vote within a certain political party. Instead, I strongly urge that voters choose candidates based on the individual they are and their stand on political issues – making each individual candidate responsible for the representation of themselves, not a party.
By: Vahe Assarian
Many people ask me, “Why did you major in Political Science?” Well, the answer may surprise you – politics runs in my blood. My father’s side has always been actively involved in the Armenian community, especially when it involves aspects of what Armenia needs to do to improve the nation political and economically. My family is also involved with a number of Armenian organizations including, but not limited to the Armenian Youth Federation, Armenian National Committee of America, and Homenetmen. Growing up in this family and having connections with Armenian organizations I developed an interest. My father’s side is strongly connected with the Armenian community because they want to see justice for the Armenian Cause. Both my grandmother and grandfather survived the Armenian Genocide and their stories of how they survived were told to my father and consequently, to me. After hearing these stories, I decided that I needed to go into politics to fight for justice in memory of my grandparents and the Armenian people.
It’s one thing to discuss politics but it’s another to actually study it. I graduated California State University Northridge (CSUN), where I studied Political Science for the past two years. I began my career in Fall 2010 and completed my Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Government on May 23, 2012. I am the first person from both my mother’s and father’s side to get a degree in this field.
Experiencing politics first hand has been quite the experience. Working for the Armenian National Committee of America -Western Region (ANCA-WR), I have learned that politics is not an easy subject to deal with – especially out on the field. While at California State University Northridge, I thought politics was hard to research and study but to actually be involved with a political group makes my studies seem far too easy. Since this is my first job,I have had a rough transition between school and work but hopefully soon I’ll get the hang of it!
I hope to still be working for the Armenian Cause in my future. My family would be very happy to see me continuing my work within the Armenian community, here in the United States. Working for the Armenian community takes a great deal of time and effort but as long as I stay strong, I know I will better my community and myself. Unfortunately, I can’t predict where my future will take me but I know that expanding my education hasn’t come to an end just yet.
By: Christine Feghali
The biggest problem facing the Armenian community today is apathy. A majority of the Armenians today are too consumed with what kind of car they drive, how their hair looks, and what brands they are wearing to keep up with what is going on in the world. Too many of the Armenian youth do not know where Artsakh is, how to speak Armenian, who Erdogan is, what Hye Tahd is, or what the purpose of voting is.
This needs to change.
The apathy has become more apparent than ever over the past week. As interns, we attended the Homenetmen Navasartian Festival with the goal to register as many Armenian voters as possible. November 6th, 2012 is a huge opportunity for the Armenian community; if we were to all come together in solidarity and project our voice, we could elect the pro-Armenian candidates that are working for our cause. We can ensure that we have officials who are working towards our best interests by promoting the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and by encouraging the United States to stop supporting Turkey and Azerbaijan.
One would think that this is enough to convince not only the Armenian youth, but also Armenians of all ages to register to vote. But it’s not. There were too many people who said they don’t care about voting, or that they don’t believe in voting, or that they don’t support the governmental system, or that they’ve never voted and they never want to, or that their vote doesn’t count. This is a HUGE problem. If everyone has this mentality, our voice becomes nonexistent and becomes less powerful. As a community, we need to realize that our numbers are small compared to the number of people in the country or even the state. The important thing to keep in mind is that we make up a large proportion of certain local districts and if we all register and vote for the pro-Armenian candidates, we can have a large impact on the future of our community.
Robert M. Hutchins stated, “…the death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.” If we don’t stop being apathetic and don’t start being active in politics, we can forget about Hye Tahd. We can forget about having the Armenian voice heard. We cannot get what we want without the help of people in high places. We are too small a group to be apathetic.
What we need is for more people to realize the potential of the our Armenian community. Potential means nothing unless it’s realized, so it’s time to stop being idle, stop being apathetic, and start being active.
If you haven’t already registered to vote, click on the link below and follow the instructions. Take two minutes to register and become a part of an election that can positively impact your Armenian community!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Zara’s post about her experiences with registering people to vote at Navasartians!
While I was reading “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell, I remembered the first political science class I took. George Orwell was talking about the tarnished English language. He talked about how politicians abuse the English language by using different euphemisms in their speeches to confuse the general public. What I also found interesting was when he said that writers are too lazy to pick an object and describe it so instead they use metaphors to describe things for them. His overall lesson was that the simpler the words the better.
My political science teacher talked about euphemisms everyday and emphasized how ridiculous they were. I didn’t fully understand what he was talking about then because I wasn’t familiar with the political world. But being involved in this internship and reading what’s out there in the media, on top of what Orwell had to say, I realized that it’s all true. When I would write short stories and poetry for my English class I would used different tactics where I would rephrases and repeat the same things I said in many ways. It served two purposes. To trick the reader into thinking I have something new to say to appear more informed with my topic and increase my credibility. I would also use a lot of metaphors and similes to grab the reader’s attention to what I had to say.
Interning at the ANCA showed me that the politicians do the same thing in their speeches. All this time, I thought I knew nothing about how the political world functioned when in reality I was using their strategy for my stories. Now that I made this connection with something I know a lot about, I finally fell like I understand an important aspect of politics. I thought I would never be able to make my own connection or feel comfortable with anything related to politics but I realize now that is not true. I don’t see the barriers that were separating me from that world anymore. The possiblilities are endless.
Another week at ANCA has gone by and I have to say that it’s getting more challenging as time goes on. I have always been a procrastinator. I find myself breaking that habit more and more. This work this week made me realize that I have to accomplish things little by little everyday so that, whether it’s research or a specific task. I find myself getting stronger in that area even though sometimes it seems difficult to break the habit; I’m learning to modify it.
Time management is starting to be a problem for me. I’m pushing myself to meet the deadlines presented to me. I decided to get a calendar to write my due dates on so that I won’t forget and it has proven to be very useful. I’ve made a couple of mistakes this week with the media reports and the monthly update but I’m not letting those mistakes discourage me. I realized that there are better ways to approach these tasks. I’m using those as a learning aid to better myself and my work for all the weeks to come.
Haig gave us a lecture recently about the influence that ANCA has had on Armenian American issues on the federal level and it was very informative. I found that I learn more when he engages us into the lesson. He constantly asks us questions and even though most of the time I may not know the answer I am able to learn for it. It made me even more interested in the political system. Overall, this week has been very enlightening. I am looking forward to learning more about this organization and its effects on the world.