Los Angeles, CA – As a Political Science student at UC Irvine, Anita Issagholyan has been at the forefront of campus activism raising awareness about the genocide in Darfur. Recently transferring from Glendale Community College to UCLA, Savada Simounian-Kygani is thankful for the opportunity to pursue a degree in History with an emphasis in Armenian Studies as well as Political Science. Together, they have worked to bring together community activism and education in an effort to spread the word about the Genocide Education Project. As participants in the 2008 Autumn Session of the Armenian National Committee-Western Region’s Internship-Externship Program (ANC-WR IEP), Anita and Savada have been working as Externs with the Genocide Education Project (GenEd). GenEd is a nonprofit organization that assists educators in teaching about human rights and genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and distributing instructional materials, providing access to teaching resources and organizing educational workshops. Anita and Savada developed a general informational brochure to guide concerned parents and community members on how to ensure that appropriate genocide and human rights education is included in local schools.
“As part of the program, I have enjoyed learning about the ins and outs of Armenian American issues and getting to know fellow students who are interested in making a difference in our community,” said Issagholyan who is a third year student and pursuing a minor in Studio Art. She also writes for the Irvine Progressive, a UCI student newspaper. “I learned about the ANC-WR internship program from a former ANC-WR GenEd extern and classmate of mine during our GCC study abroad trip to Armenia,” noted Simounian-Khygani. “I am really interested in pursuing a career in teaching so it was great to work on a project related to education,” he added. Established in June 2006, the ANC-WR IEP is a selective and intensive program that provides student leaders and activists with an opportunity to participate in an intensive internship designed to provide an in-depth introduction to Armenian American issues as well as advocacy efforts on the federal, state and local level. The program hosts spring, summer and autumn sessions. The 2008 Spring Session of the ANC-WR IEP is fast approaching. Applications must be post-marked by December 1st and are available online at www.anca.org in the “Capitol Gateway” section. For more information about the program or a copy of the application, you can contact the ANC-WR office at 818.500.1918. The Armenian National Committee – 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 ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo Caption: Simounian-Khygani and Issagholyan (right) join ANC-WR volunteer Boghos Patatian and ANC-WR staff for a meeting with ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian (left).