The following message was delivered by Ungerouhi Sossie Poladian, Chairperson, Armenian Relief Society of Western USA, Regional Executive during the ARS Awards Night for Public High School Graduates on June 7, 2010:
Welcome to the Armenian Relief Society Award Night. Since you are the smartest and brightest high school graduates, this gathering may look similar to many other gathering that you may have already attended or will attend in the next few days. However, this is different.
We are not gathered at an educational institution, but a place where people come to get help for themselves and their families. This building is a service center buzzing with social services and counseling clients during the day, and volunteers from all over the southland who raise funds for schools, scholarships, youth centers and orphans at night.
The ARS is a century old organization, which continues to thrive, because we are always learning how to do things better, how to use technology for our benefit, how to educate our new members, so they too will carry on the torch.
You have reached a special milestone in your education. You have made your family, your teachers and community proud of your accomplishments. It may look like that’s all that they are happy for you. That’s not true.
All of us have high expectations of you for all the degrees and titles that you will earn in the future then to carry on the leadership of this community.
We have high expectations that you will remember where you came from, your Armenian heritage, along with your American-Armenian upbringing to continue to be exemplary students, and then to continue in our positions as workers and leaders in this community.
In your new life, you cannot be afraid of trying new ideas and concepts, and following your dream.
Your new life awaits you with your expanded responsibilities towards yourself, your family and your community here in the Diaspora and in the homeland. We hope that in the future you will consider helping the ARS, to help the greater community.