Investing in our Youth
The “Norian” Youth Connect Program’s purpose is to encourage and promote Armenian studies in the United States, and to create an environment for Armenian students to get acquainted, discuss interests, and encourage activism in their Armenian communities. The program aims to reach its goals by providing dynamic speakers to discuss current and interesting Armenian issues and topics. It is a simple attempt to create a network of Armenian college students and to help them realize their intellectual and professional potentials to help themselves and to reach out to others like them. Over 90 students annually participate in the weekend program which is financed through the Norian Endowment Fund.
The Armenian National Education Committee, a committee sponsored by the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Eastern United States and the Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA, is an executive body which serves the educational needs of Armenian schools and seeks to preserve the identity of the Armenian people.
The Siamanto Academy is organized for high school students and convenes once a month. The program is structured over two years and is comprised of lessons in Armenian history, culture and current events in Armenia and the Diaspora. Lessons are also posted on the internet so that they are accessible to everyone. We believe that the graduates of the Academy will aspire to be the future leaders of our communities.
The ARS has supported a shared mission with Camp Haiastan in Franklin, MA, as a place for Armenian youth to hold onto their Armenian identity. The yearly printing of the Camp Haiastan Armenian school workbook, used by each camper during their attended session, is generously provided by the Albert and Queenie Bagian fund. Over the past couple of years, ARS has also funded the purchase of several tech additions to camp, like laptops and smart boards.
The ARS of Eastern USA and its chapters continue awarding camperships for two campers each year. Campers enjoy their stay at Camp Haiastan and cherish that experience for a lifetime. The ARS continues to donate generously to meet the needs of our beloved Camp.
Scholarships have been provided by the ARS of Eastern USA to undergraduate and graduate students of Armenian descent since the early 1980’s as indicated below:
The ARS of Eastern USA sponsors an annual essay contest for students attending Armenian everyday schools or one-day schools in the Eastern Region. Each year, the essay contest features a new topic that encourages the young participants to reflect on their identity as Armenian-Americans as well as provide them an opportunity to think about topics of importance to the Armenian people and how issues may impact their young lives. Students are judged within their own grade level. Over 150 students participate in this Essay Contest every year. The winning essays are published in the Armenian newspapers, and prizes are awarded for the best essays. In 2020, the ARS updated the contest and began accepting submissions in the form of art, powerpoint, video, and other visual presentations.