ALUMNI LEADERSHIP RECOGNITION AWARDS
AVC and Birthright Armenia staff, together with representatives of our combined 3,000+ alumni base, evaluate nominations for our annual leadership awards. These awards fall into six different categories:
- Spirit of Birthright Armenia
- Professional Achievement
- Young Philanthropist/Give Back Service
- Artistic/Cultural Achievement
- Civic Participation
Each selected finalist gets an opportunity to earmark a donation in his/her name to an Armenian non-profit organization. How do alumni receive an award? Each year, our alumni team sends out an email requesting nominations. If you have someone you’d like to nominate for any award, you must complete a short nomination form and submit it by the deadline. Announcements are made shortly thereafter.
Examples of past winners include:
Artistic/Cultural Achievement Award: Natalie Kamajian, Armen Adamian
Natalie and Armen dedicated their studies to the preservation of Armenian culture by educating the public about important Armenian cultural practices. Natalie’s focus is on Armenian traditional dance, and Armen is digitizing Armenian folk music, and together they have together founded the Lernazang Ensemble. Natalie and Armen chose to donate their $1000 award to VOMA, a civilian preparedness training center in Armenia.
Civic Participation/Public Service Award: Araz Chiloyan
Araz Chiloyan was awarded for her dedicated work at the Ministry of Health in Armenia. She supported COVID-19 public awareness efforts and acted as a government liaison for vaccine import coordination during her tenure with iGorts. Araz decided to give her $1000 award to the Women’s Center in Shushi.
Valor Award: Nikolay Stepanyan, Mher Almasian, Sevan Ozkul, Shant Abraamyan
This category was added to highlight the selfless dedication of our alumni who participated in the 44-day Artsakh war. The winning alumni group opted to support the Lorik Humanitarian Fund, focused on charitable initiatives for Artsakh residents, with their $2000 award.
Civic Participation/Public Service Award: Araz Kekejian-Sahakian, Matthieu Sahakian
Recipients Araz Kekejian-Sahakian and Matthieu Sahakian were chosen for their dedication to furthering the development of Armenia’s rural regions, especially Syunik. The couple co-founded “All for Armenia” to assist displaced residents of Artsakh, but it later expanded to include broader training, support, and educational initiatives. In the unique position of actually being at the helm of their own non-profit organization, they accepted the $1000 award for “All for Armenia”.