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Araksya Nordikyan is the 2021 Walter & Laurel Karabian Fellow. She is a first-generation immigrant who is motivated by her national and family history, her love for learning and her desire to become an asset to her community. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2020, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Law and her Master of Public Administration.

While in college, her ambition and commitment to civil liberties led her to join the Student Senate for California Community Colleges where she served as a voice for students by engaging in policy advocacy. Wanting to learn more about government, Araksya pursued an internship with Councilmember Paul Koretz and was then accepted to the Schaeffer Fellowship in Sacramento where she worked for Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer. Prior to applying for the Karabian Fellowship, Araksya was the Director of Youth Services for PESA and the liaison for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s JOIN Program, both of which host diversion programs for system-impacted youth to avoid criminal convictions. With her diverse background, academic discipline, and political engagement, Araksya hopes to continue her work on social issues where she feels she can have the most impact in shaping a more inclusive world.