PASADENA — “Lighting the Path to the Future” was the theme at a kick-off dinner for The Archbishop Hovnan Derderian Scholarship Fund Friday, March 15 at the Rococo Room in Pasadena. Under the auspices of the Western Diocese, parents, friends, principals, administrators, donors and clergy indeed paved the way to enrich the lives of Armenian students in Armenian schools by joining together to share in the Scholarship Fund mission and purpose of financially assisting students in their secondary education. An enthusiastic, sold out crowd of attendees enjoyed an evening of song, dance, camaraderie and commitment. Performance by Artur Mr. X whose operatic voice entertained and charmed the attendees, highlighted the evening.

“We are extremely pleased that the Archbishop Hovnan Derderian Scholarship Fund has received such positive response,” said Alice Chakrian, chair of the Committee. “Parents and the community realize that there is a need to fulfill unmet financial obligations of students who wish to pursue an education in our Armenian schools.”

Principals of the many Armenian Schools who shared the same vision as Archbishop Derderian and the Scholarship Fund Committee were enthused by the many aspects of assistance qualified students would receive. As one parent put it, “The Archbishop Scholarship Fund is a noble gesture toward a noble cause.” Students vying for the scholarships would have to demonstrate academic commitment; show their volunteer efforts in church and or community, and show financial need.

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian stated that he “was touched by the display of interest in a scholarship to assist young men and women of Armenian heritage.” He said, “There is a need out there to make sure that no child is denied an education he/she deserves. The success of this event is yet another aspect of our community understanding the need and taking an active role in preparing our future generation of leaders to light the path for others to follow.”

Parents whose children had already experienced the benefit of attending Armenian schools felt privileged to be a part of the event. “It is our civic responsibility and moral obligation to contribute to such a cause and give others an equal chance at attending our Armenian schools,” said Angela Parseghian, parent and co-chair of the Archbishop Hovnan Derderian Scholarship Fund Committee. The committee is comprised of representatives and members from the Armenian schools of the Greater Los Angeles area and the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of North America.

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