Generations of alumni from AGBU’s prestigious New York Summer Internship Program (NYSIP) will reunite on Saturday, July 21, 2012, to celebrate the program’s 25th anniversary at a special gala evening. The much anticipated event will give former NYSIP participants the opportunity to both reconnect and acknowledge the various individuals, who, over the years, have shaped the program and given it a reputation for excellence.
To date, NYSIP has produced over 800 alumni who have risen to the top of their fields, owing to the solid foundation they laid and valuable contacts they cultivated through the program. While participants are now established in various industries in different cities, during their two months living together in New York they formed a lasting bond. The celebration’s venue, Battery Gardens, which sits on the New York Harbor with iconic views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, is the ideal site for alumni to reminisce about summers spent exploring the city, and to bring each other up to date on all that has happened since. As the occasion draws closer, NYSIP co-chair Sarkis Jebejian comments, “We are very excited to see familiar faces, and to hear about all the ways NYSIP students have used their summer experience as a vehicle to advance themselves. Every year, we are proud to bring together the best and brightest students from around the globe, who demonstrate exceptional academic performance and a true motivation to contribute to their local community. As always, it will be a pleasure to learn about their numerous accomplishments following NYSIP.” His enthusiasm is shared by the many who have already confirmed their attendance for the event.
Throughout the evening, NYSIP will pay tribute to those who have played a key role in developing the program. As Serge Kassardjian, the chair of the anniversary celebration committee, a NYSIP alumnus, and a NYSIP committee member, remarks, “we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone, which reflects the impact that the program has on so many people’s lives throughout the world. We also look forward to announcing a few exciting initiatives we have planned for the future, and to honoring the supervisors who have been vital to the growth of this program.” During the event, the spotlight will be put on numerous NYSIP supervisors who have devoted more than five summers to nurturing the professional aspirations of the students, and have demonstrated a deep commitment to preparing them for post-graduate endeavors.
The honorees have carried on a strong tradition that was first envisioned by NYSIP founders Vartkess† and Rita Balian, who sought to provide university students of Armenian descent with professional experience and to create a global network of young leaders. After the couple established the program in 1987, it quickly took off and has not lost momentum since. Today, NYSIP enjoys strong relationships with over two hundred host institutions, from Fortune 500 companies to public sector organizations, including Citigroup, the New York Times, the United Nations, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each organization offers participants a rewarding learning experience, and insight into the inner workings of their future professions, while helping them forge their career paths. The success of NYSIP was such that it prompted AGBU to establish similar programs in Moscow in 2010, Yerevan in 2007, and Paris in 2003, which has since evolved to serve students from the French University of Armenia and is held year round.
AGBU NYSIP is supported in large part through donations by supporters who believe in the program’s valuable mission. Gifts are added to a scholarship endowment fund to help ensure that qualified candidates who need financial assistance are able to take advantage of the program. Raffi Balian, the NYSIP co-chair, attributes NYSIP’s success to both the generosity of program donors and dedication of its supervisors. He has also emphasized that this July’s gala is not exclusively for alumni and supervisors, stating “we welcome all who have supported NYSIP through the years at this exciting event so that they can see, firsthand, the result of their contributions and meet the many accomplished professionals who have directly benefitted from their support.”
The celebration is one of two events being organized by the NYSIP anniversary committee that same weekend. On Friday, July 20, the AGBU Young Professionals of Greater New York will co-host an evening mixer. Tickets for the Saturday gala are now on sale for $175 and tickets for the mixer are available for $25. Both can be purchased viahttp://agbuinternship25thanniversary.eventbrite.com, where information about accommodations at the W Hotel – Union Square is also available.
Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world’s largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 400,000 Armenians around the world.
For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please visit www.agbu.org.