The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA (ARS) hosted its Annual Outstanding High School Graduates’ Awards Night on June 6, 2016, at the ARS Regional Headquarters in Glendale, Calif. This gathering of students, counselors, school administrators, parents and ARS members has become an important tradition, whereby students are recognized for their academic achievements and, at the same time, they become familiarized with the ARS and its humanitarian mission.
ARS Regional Executive Chairperson Rebecca Berberian presented welcoming remarks, congratulating students and their parents for their accomplishments. Berberian explained how in accordance with its mission of encouraging Armenian youth to pursue higher education, the ARS has awarded scholarships to thousands of students throughout the years, including Aram Haigaz and Moushegh Ishkhan, who would later on become famous Armenian writers. She stated, “Following our mission, the ARS hopes that these academic scholarships continue to foster generations of educated and hard-working Armenian youth, who give back to their communities and homeland. Moreover, the ARS hopes that many of you award recipients decide to support the ARS later in your academic and professional lives.”
Following her remarks, Berberian invited the evening’s keynote speaker, Dr. Vahakn Arslanian, Dental Director of Fresno Dental Surgery Center.
“Your hard work has brought you here today. Proud parents, you have done all you can to put your children on the right path to eventual success,” stated Dr. Arslanian. He advised students to cultivate good habits, invest in themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically, and continuously expand their horizons. Emphasizing the importance of community activism, Dr. Arslanian expressed, “If you have the ability to join our organizations, please do. Every one of you can change something. If you have the ability to contribute financially, do so because every penny counts.”
After the main remarks, Chairperson Berberian invited the scholarship recipients to receive their certificates and awards, which were distributed by ARS chapter representatives. Attendees also had the opportunity to view a video presentation detailing the history, mission, and various programs of the ARS of Western USA.
In addition to the evening’s scholarship recipients, scholarships were also awarded by the ARS Fresno Mayr, Fresno Sophia Chapter, and Phoenix Ararat chapters.
This year, the ARS of Western USA is proud to have awarded a total of 43 students with scholarships further encouraging them to pursue their academic aspirations.