The 2023 ANCA Western Region Summer Interns Are Poised to Tackle the Challenges of Our Nations for Years to Come

July 28, 2023

(Glendale, CA) – The Armenian National Committee of America Western Region (ANCA Western Region) is delighted to welcome this year’s interns who embarked upon their journey to advance the Armenian Cause on June 19, 2023. Eight students and two recent graduates make up the group of ten young Armenians who will have the chance to learn about the organization’s mission, objectives, activities, and operations to advance Hye Tahd.


“After receiving a record number of applications for ANCA Western Region’s Summer internship, we are thrilled to host ten exceptional interns who are deeply committed to advocating for the Armenian Cause and representing the Armenian American community,” said ANCA-Western Region Executive Director Sarkis Balkhian. “We are certain that this group of young Armenians are ready to tackle the insurmountable challenges of Hye Tahd from different vantage points, not only during their internship this summer but for many years to come.”


During the ten-week-long internship, Armenian youth from across the Western United States will gain in-depth knowledge of ANCA Western Region’s work in the realms of government affairs, advocacy, media and communications, community outreach, coalition building, and research, while developing their professional skills that will help them in their future professional endeavors.

Summer 2023 interns attend orientation.
Summer 2023 interns meet Representative Adam Schiff

The ANCA-Western Region 2023 Summer Interns are:


Alik Artinian—University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Public Affairs

Anna Badalyan—Yerevan State University, Yerevan, Armenia, B.A. Legal Studies and International Law; Imastaser Anania Shirakatsi University, Gyumri, Armenia – B.A. Business Economics and Management

Beaina Bedrossian—University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Graduate, B.A. Political Science, concentration in Political Theory, minor in History.

Sevan Derderian—University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Political Science, concentration in Data Analytics.

Sofia Gevorgian—University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Political Science, concentration in International Relations.

Juliette Hagobian—Recent high school graduate, attending four-year university, Psychology and English

Sonia Meroian—University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Graduate, B.A. Political Science concentration in International Relations

Anna Mkoyan—Los Angeles Valley College, Political Science, concentration in International Relations

Raffi Sarian—University of California, Irvine (UCI), Film and Media Studies

Alik Artinian is a second-year student at UCLA majoring in Public Affairs. Alik has always had a passion for Armenia and Hye Tahd. After participating in the ANCA Summer Academy in 2021, she wanted to continue contributing to Hye Tahd through the ANCA-Western Region internship program, where she will be working as an intern in the Coalition and Community Development division. She seeks to explore opportunities that will allow diaspora Armenians like her to help the homeland while being far away.

Alik considers her culture to be a central and important part of her identity. She is a dancer in Lernazang Ensemble, where she performs traditional folk Armenian dances that have originated from Western Armenia. She was able to pass this knowledge to younger Armenians at AYF Summer Camp in 2021 when she was a counselor. Alik also serves as the Secretary of the Hidden Road Initiative chapter at UCLA, which is a club that aims to raise revenue for educational and leadership opportunities for students living in remote villages in Armenia. This past year she was also a Bruin Leaders Project Intern, organized by UCLA’s Student Organizations, Leadership, and Engagement office, where she attended weekly leadership-based workshops/seminars and honed her skills surrounding public speaking, communication, and leadership skills that she will be able to utilize as an intern at ANCA-Western Region this summer.

Anna Badalyan earned her first Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1996, and her second Bachelor’s degree in Jurisprudence in 2011, in Armenia. She has more than twenty years of work experience at the Prosecutor General’s Office of the R.A., ten of which she served as the Chair of the Statistics and Analysis Division. She is a career prosecutor and a licensed lawyer in R.A. She is a Co-Founder of the Shahgaldyan & Friends Legal Services LTD in 2021, based in Armenia.

She has received certificates of completion of various courses in Armenia, such as GMAT courses at the American University of Armenia and Media Production and Marketing courses.

In 2021, Anna decided to pursue her professional goals by moving to the United States. In a very short period of time, she got involved in the community, mainly in the spheres of education, employment and business. She has been a licensed Life Agent since 2022. She has also completed a Privacy Data Protection course. In addition, she has started volunteering since May, 2023, and right now serves as an intern at an immigration law firm.

Being an immigrant from Armenia, Anna Badalyan has always been interested in the Armenian community’s activities and life, and today she serves as an intern at the Community Outreach division of the ANCA Western Region. Participating in the 2023 ANCA Western Region’s Summer Internship Program will give her an opportunity to help the Armenian community in the Western United States and Armenians worldwide, namely by supporting Armenians in Artsakh and Armenia.

Anna Badalyan likes entertainment, traveling, and reading business and motivational books. In her free time, Anna enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and traveling to Armenia to enjoy the divine landscape of her homeland.

Beaina Bedrossian is a recent graduate of UCLA, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in political theory and a minor in history. As a student, she was a writer for UCLA’s premier feminist news magazine, FEM, and served as programming staff for UCLA Radio, where she created and oversaw the production of original radio content.

Aside from her involvement in student media, Beaina clerked for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office in Van Nuys, working alongside litigating attorneys on various criminal cases. She is planning on attending law school in the upcoming year. Beaina was born in Vancouver, Canada, and moved to Los Angeles in 2012. She played violin for almost ten years, and most enjoyed performing pieces by one of her favorite composers, Komitas.

Sevan Derderian is a student at UC San Diego studying political science with a concentration in data analytics on the pre-law track. She is UCSD Associated Students’ incoming Associate Vice President of Transportation for the 2023-24 academic year, as well as an active member of the university’s Armenian Students Association. She will also be volunteering with San Diego county’s JusticeCorps program beginning in the fall. Sevan has been a lifetime advocate for the Armenian cause, championing Armenian issues in every community she has been a part of.

Whether it be coordinating fundraising efforts during her time at Ferrahian Armenian school or educating fellow students about contemporary issues in college, Sevan has engaged in countless efforts to advance the Armenian cause. She participated in the inaugural ANCA Haroutioun and Elizabeth Kasparian Summer Academy in Washington, DC, where she explored and furthered her interests in government affairs, public policy, and diplomacy. She is eager to continue working with the ANCA Western Region this summer as a Government Affairs Intern to advance Armenian-American interests.

Sofia Gevorgian studies Political Science with a concentration in International Relations at the University of California, Los Angeles. She currently serves as a Research and Writing Intern at the Center for Truth and Justice, a human rights organization that collects war crime evidence committed against Armenians during and after the 2020 Artsakh war and prepares reports for purposes of advocacy, education, and court cases. She is also a published author on the platform TalkDiplomacy and is preparing her first article for the Journal on World Affairs through UCLA. Applying her experience drafting and publishing both reports and articles, she seeks to expand her knowledge as a Research and Writing Intern at the ANCA WR this summer.

Sofia is also the president of the UCLA Hidden Road Initiative (NGO/NPO), where she leads both fundraising and development projects in Armenia and Artsakh’s border villages, by providing scholarships, organizing camps, engaging in renovation work, and facilitating English language courses. While she has been tutoring English as a Second Language to students living in these villages for the past two years, she has gained deeper insight into life in Armenia—fueling her growing commitment to her homeland. Upon graduating from UCLA, Sofia seeks to attend law school.

Juliette Hagobian is an eighteen-year-old poet and advocate from Los Angeles, California. She works for the Social Media and Communications Division of the ANCA Western Region where she is able to display her passions for advocacy, representation, and raising awareness about the Armenian community. She has also been published or is forthcoming in h-pem, Corporeal, Surging Tide, and The Howl Magazine. She works as a poetry/prose editor for Kalopsia Literary. Juliette is a 2023 poetry mentee for The Adroit Journal’s Summer Mentorship Program as well as The International Armenian Literary Alliance’s Mentorship Program.

She is a recent graduate of Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School in Encino, California, and is planning on pursuing a double concentration in English and Psychology in university. Her hobbies include taking dance classes, reading feminist works, drawing doodles of people’s faces, writing poem ideas in her Notes app, and baking banana bread. She loves fruit-flavored gum, constantly reapplying chapstick, and dancing in her room at two in the morning. Find her on Instagram as @juliette_hagobian and on Twitter as @jjules_h.

Sonia Meroian is a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a focus on International Relations. During her 2023 summer internship with ANCA Western Region, she will focus on political and legal research on issues concerning the Armenian nation.

Professionally, Sonia supplemented her academic experience with an internship at Action on Armed Violence in London, where she contributed to their research on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA), global military special forces units, and lethal autonomous weapons systems. Currently, she is in the process of publishing her undergraduate thesis, “Recentralization Under Xi Jinping: Exploring the Means and Incentives Guiding the Chinese Communist Party’s Consolidation of Power Over China’s Business Sector.”

Throughout her academic career, Sonia has held numerous student leadership positions, including President of the Associated Student Organization (ASO) at Los Angeles Mission College and Advisor for the All-Armenian Student Organization (All-ASA). At ANCA-WR, she seeks to gain valuable knowledge on international humanitarian law and instrumentalize her skills in pursuit of furthering Hye Tahd – the Armenian Cause.

Anna Mkoyan is a dedicated second-year student at Los Angeles Valley College, pursuing a major in Political Science. She is currently interning in the Coalition and Community Development division of ANCA-WR, where she seeks to foster relations between the Armenian and non-Armenian communities and channel those relations to support her homeland, despite being far away from Armenia. In her capacity as the president of the debate club at LAVC, Anna takes on responsibilities such as organizing meetings and debates, providing guidance and support to club members, and ensuring the club’s adherence to its mission statement.

Having recently graduated from Burbank High School, her exceptional academic performance earned her the privilege of an accelerated graduation. Her ambition lies in pursuing a future in International Relations at a four-year university, with the ultimate goal of becoming a diplomat representing the Republic of Armenia. Alongside her academic pursuits, Anna indulges in reading Armenian literature, cultivating her sense of style, and cherishing quality time with her loved ones.

Raffi Sarian recently graduated from Glendale Community College by completing his general education and will transfer to UCI this fall, majoring in Film and Media studies. Outside of college, Sarian loves to watch movies and spend time with his family, whether going to restaurants with them or simply staying at home and playing games.

The idea of entertaining others has always fueled his love and passion for pursuing a career in the film industry. Since childhood, he has always been captivated by the art of movies because of the magical and warm effects movies would leave on him. Year after year, Raffi’s love and attachment to movies never faded but flourished with each passing year as he kept discovering majestic angles in classic and contemporary movies. Sarian hopes to be able to develop films depicting Armenian stories to bring people together to enjoy the magic of cinema.

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 Western Region advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Sarkis Balkhian
Email / Tel: (818) 863-2353
Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region
104 N. Belmont St. Suite 200, Glendale CA 91206 | | @anca_wr