Recognizing that youth are the most important resource to cultivate in order to ensure a bright future for the Armenian nation, AGBU was proud to see the active participation of its Young Professionals Network throughout the General Assembly and its related activities. Representatives from Athens, Beirut, Boston, London, Los Angeles, New York and Yerevan, with a special guest from India, convened a roundtable discussion, and reflected on shared best practices and challenges in fundraising, attracting new members, and promoting initiatives.
The AGBU Europe leadership program—GORIZ—designed to cultivate exceptional young Armenians by training them to represent their diaspora communities, held its annual seminar during the Union’s biennial gathering. Representing 10 countries, 22 participants focused on the theme “EU Eastern Partnership Youth Seminar on Communication and the Media.” The participants learned how to harness the media effectively in order to put Armenian issues in the international spotlight, and developed successful strategies for interviewing on television, engaging with social media and coordinating messages.
Armenia’s Education and Science Minister Armen Ashotyan was present for the annual online forum celebrating the third anniversary of the AGBU Armenian Virtual College (AVC)—one of the organization’s most acclaimed new initiatives. The event included AVC’s very first online graduation ceremony, “attended” remotely by hundreds of worldwide students. Mr. Ashotyan noted that AVC is currently in the process of receiving its state licensing, which will soon make it the first virtual degree program to be recognized as a higher education institute in Armenia. To keep up with the technological advancements and meet the changing expectations of today’s modern students, AVC courses will be available on mobile devices, including mobile Apple iOS devices, using a specially designed AVC application. AVC Founder and Central Board member Yervant Zorian announced that AVC will now target youth specifically with the creation of AVC Kids program, which will feature courses on Armenian language and chess, cultivating the talents of the youngest generation of Armenians and helping the Armenian nation maintain its strong standing in the world of chess.
The TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, which was conceived and established by AGBU Central Board member Sam Simonian and his wife, Sylva, welcomed AGBU delegates to a reception, during which students presented interactive media demonstrations and impressed even the most tech-savvy adults. Other students introduced a mixed media animation video on AGBU’s global work, produced in collaboration with the AGBU Yerevan Office. The country’s premiere media institute is designed to serve daily 6,000 youth, ages 12 to 18, who are interested in digital art and information technology. After school courses are offered in the exciting fields of animation, audio, digital video, game design and web development. TUMO students receive hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technologies, training for careers that don’t yet exist and gain an immediate advantage in a rapidly changing job market. Thousands also attended an open-air concert afterward at TUMO featuring the TUMOrchestra and the award-winning Armenian rock band, the Dorians, whose hit album, “Fly,” has topped the charts and performed especially for the occasion of the AGBU General Assembly.