ARS of Western USA Scholarship Awards 2023

Annually, the Armenian Relief Society of Western USA awards scholarships to high school and college/university students in recognition of their academic achievements and community service. Over the past twenty years, ARS Regional Executive Boards have provided approximately $136,000 in scholarships to college/university students and local chapters have collectively provided over $406,000 in scholarship to hundreds of high school graduates.

This year, the ARS Regional Executive Board selected two candidates, Nora Bairamian (graduate student in Armenian Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Culture at UCLA) and medical student Gorune Geloian for the ARS Scholarship. This scholarship opportunity is granted through the ARS Central Executive and is based on academic performance and various other factors, including involvement in the Armenian community, to students upon successful completion of their first year of college or graduate students.

Alongside its selection for the ARS Scholarship, the ARS Regional Executive Board also awarded regional scholarships to college students Shantal Adajian, Vahe Akopyan, Sofia Gevorgian, and Ani Sinanyan. Graduate student Armine Kalbakian was the recipient of the ARS “Asdghig Shahinian” Scholarship.

Chapters throughout the region annually award high school scholarships to students in their local communities. To recognize these awards, the ARS of Western USA held its Outstanding High School Graduates’ Awards Ceremony on June 5, 2023 at the ARS Regional Headquarters.

Welcoming remarks were delivered by ARS Regional Executive Board Vice-Chairperson Zharmen Mirzakhanyan, who welcomed scholarship recipients, their family members, and ARS chapter executive members. She affirmed that the ARS stands in support of youth in encouragement of their achievements and the awards event serves as a testament of this support. Mirzakhanyan also gave special mention to the parents of all students, who spare no effort to advance education in their children’s lives and help them aspire to great heights. She encouraged students to remain active in community life and contribute to ensuring a prosperous future for the Armenian people.

ARS Regional Executive Board member Christina Khanjian also delivered a message to students and guests. After providing an overview of the region’s humanitarian work and programs, she conveyed words of encouragement to the students and stated, “As you embark on this new chapter of your life, please remember that you have a community that is always here to support you along with your family and friends. The ARS is composed of mostly women from all walks of life and from different regions of the world. We hope that you continue to do well in furthering your education and remember that the ARS is always here to help, mentor, and guide if you so need.”

Thereafter, scholarship recipients were invited to receive their monetary awards by the ARS Araz, Nairy, Lori, Sevan, and Sepan chapter executives, alongside certificates by the ARS Regional Executive.

The full list of the 2023 high school scholarship recipients by chapters of the Armenian Relief Society of Western USA follows:

ARS San Fernando Valley Anahid Chapter

Lara Aprahamian, Ferrahian High School
Clara Chakarian, Ferrahian High School
Raya Gasisyan, Reseda Charter High School
Amalia Harutyunyan, Reseda Charter High School

ARS Burbank Araz Chapter

Vahan Koshkaryan, Burbank High School

ARS N. San Fernando Valley Lori Chapter

Sarine Danielle Baronian, Ferrahian High School

ARS Los Angeles Maro Chapter Ani Karamardian Scholarship

Lauren Hotoyan – Armenian Mesrobian School
Talia Minassian, Ferrahian High School

ARS Fresno Mayr Chapter

Gabriella Deeb, Clovis North High School
Gregory Messerlian, Clovis North High School
Sylvie Khatchikian, Clovis North High School
James Cranford, Kingsburg High School
Lily Baloian, Fresno High School

ARS Hollywood Mayr Chapter

Cynthia Ghazarian, Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School

ARS Montebello Nairy Chapter

Gary Nguyen Kevanian, Schurr High School
Jackalyn Karamanoukian, Armenian Mesrobian School
Robert Melkonyan, Montebello High School
Katelyn Marchi-Setyan, Montebello High School

ARS Glendale Sepan Chapter

Tamar Sonia Chavdarian, Hoover High School
Lilian Mirzakanian, Glendale High School
Natalie Sargisyan, Glendale High School
Andrea Michelle Zakarian, Hoover High School

ARS Orange County Sevan Chapter

Clara Artarian, Huntington Beach High School
Lucy Guldjian, Mater Dei High School

ARS Las Vegas Shoushi Chapter

Liana Havanjian, Coronado High School

ARS Fresno Sophia Chapter

Victoria Kojekian, Clovis North High School
Ruben Hamamjian, University High School