GLENDALE—The Armenian Cultural Foundation’s “We Are Gyumri” committee announced the recipients of the 2020 – 2021 Mina Shirvanian Scholarship, which allows bright young students from the Shirak Province to obtain a higher education in the homeland.
While Covid-19 continues to take a toll on public health, thousands of students will be returning to school this month in Armenia, continuing to work on their education and growth despite the new obstacles they face. The “We Are Gyumri” committee is honored to be able to continue providing support to university students in Shirak, to ensure that financing their education will not be a burden this academic year.
There are 12 scholarship recipients, nine of whom are being awarded for the first time, while three are continuing scholars. Since the scholarship was launched in 2015, there have been 34 scholarship recipients, of whom 22 have graduated.
The current recipients of the We Are Gyumri Mina Shirvanian Scholarship are:
Hasmik Sargsyan, a 19-year-old from Gyumri who is studying English and Russian Translation at Shirak State University. Hasmik will also be teaching English at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
Alvard Ghazaryan, a 20-year-old from Gyumri who is studying Russian Language and Literature at Shirak State University. Alvard will be teaching Russian at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
Gohar Galoyan, a 20-year-old from Gyumri who is studying English Language and Literature at Shirak State University. Gohar is also an artist and photographer.
Seda Voskanyan, a 21-year-old from Gyumri who is studying Service/Tourism at Shirak State University. Seda is active in other community organizations and will be teaching Armenian history at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
Narek Aleqsanyan, a 21-year-old from Gyumri who is studying Accountancy at Shirak State University. Narek is involved with international charities, and will be organizing events at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
Parandzem Poloyan, a 19-year-old from Akhuryan, who is studying Pedagogy at Shirak State University. In her free time, she likes to draw and helps her mother in their village. She will be tutoring students at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
Syuzanna Karapetyan, an 18-year-old from Artik who is studying Accountancy at the Armenian State University of Economics. She is a member of the AYF and will be volunteering with the Homenetmen Scouts in Gyumri.
Amalya Mkhitarian, a 19-year-old from Gyumri who will be studying Management at the Gyumri Branch of the Armenian State Economic University. She will eb teaching math at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
Marine Nikoghosyan, a 20-year-old from Kaqavasar who is studying Management at Shirak State University. Marine teaches Armenian language to students with disabilities at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
Levon Bejanyan, a 20-year-old from Gyumri who is studying management at Shirak State University. Levon is a member of Shirak’s writer’s union, as well as a published author. Levon will organize events at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
Zori Movsisyan, a 21-year-old from Gyumri who is studying Information Technology at the Gyumri branch of the National Polytechnic University of Armenia. He is a member of the AYF and will organize events at the Shirvanian Youth Center.
Meline Hovhannisyan, a 20-year old from Gyumri who is studying Design at the Gyumri branch of the Armenian State Academy of Fine Arts. Meline will be teaching painting at the Shrivanian Youth Center.
Scholarship recipients were selected after an application process that included interviews, questionnaires about the students’ field of study, personal achievements, their decision to pursue their education in the Shirak province, volunteer experience, grade point average, family circumstances, and military service and background.[embedded content]
The “We Are Gyumri” committee, an initiative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western U.S. Central Committee, is proud of these scholars and excited to see each student continue to excel academically and as members of their communities. Most importantly, the scholarship recipients spend their time volunteering at the Shirvanian Youth Center, where they pass their knowledge, experience, and love for their homeland to the future generation.
The Shirvanian Youth Center would not have been possible without the generous contribution by the late Hacob and Mina Shirvanian, for whom creating and advancing educational and cultural opportunities for the youth of Armenia was a life-long priority. Accordingly the center was named after them and their legacy lives on through the vibrant activities carried out at the center. Hacob and Mina Shirvanian traveled to Gyumri and were present at the ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony of the center. To celebrate the couple’s unwavering support, the “We Are Gyumri” committee decided to name its annual scholarship program in memory of Mina Shirvanian after her passing in 2018. The scholarship program was launched in 2015.[embedded content]
“We are living through an unprecedented health crisis, and the economic toll of the virus is still growing,” said Shant Baboujian, chair of the “We Are Gyumri” committee. “Despite the uncertainty, our community remains united in our support for Armenia, and Gyumri in particular. Our work would not be possible without our donors, and we are thankful for each gift we receive because we can see the impact it has on the youth of Shirak on a daily basis.”
The Scholarship Fund, strictly available for residents of Shirak, is designed to encourage the youth in Gyumri to further their education without having to leave their homeland. The annual tuition is $750 per student. To sponsor a student or donate to the Mina Shirvanian Scholarship Fund, please send a check payable to “ACF” to ACF Shirak Youth Center, 104 N Belmont Avenue, Suite 300, Glendale, CA 91206.
The mission of the “We Are Gyumri” committee is to create a positive and lasting impact on youth in Gyumri, Armenia. The campaign restructured and renovated the Shirvanian Youth Center in Gyumri that had been destroyed during the 1988 Spitak earthquake. A year-round functional program was created at the center to teach youth in Gyumri everyday skills, to provide them with the essentials they need for a brighter future, and to serve as a bridge between youth in Gyumri and their peers in the Diaspora. As another component of the campaign, the “We Are Gyumri” Mina Shirvanian Scholarship Fund is intended for residents of the Shirak Province to pursue their undergraduate education in their native region. “We are Gyumri” is an ARF Western U.S. initiative.