BURBANK — The Archbishop Hovnan Derderian Scholarship Fund (The Fund) board is on a mission to not leave any child behind in education. As the new semester begins, and even with the challenges of COVID-19, children and youth attending Armenian Schools in the greater Los Angeles area will be given the monetary support needed to reduce the financial burden from the institutions and the students alike.
At the insistence of Abp. Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, a total of $92,500.00 is being distributed among the students of outstanding Armenian schools in Los Angeles and an additional $5,000 will go toward the American University of Armenia.
“This is not a time to cut back on our assistance,” insisted the Archbishop. “There is an immense need for continuity that has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the lives of our children. It is our duty, especially in these trying times, to maintain the environment that develops the Armenian spirit among the future generations of our youth.”
Indeed the need for funds to help Armenian youth retain enrollment in Armenian schools has never been greater than it is now when institutions are witnessing a scarcity of funds due to an increase in families requesting financial assistance. “These are tough times for all,” said Mrs. Eileen Keusseyan, Esq., chair of The Fund. “Every effort must be made to help retain students in these institutions that prepare them to be rooted in the history of our ancestors. We cannot deny families, their commitment to language and culture, by denying the students an opportunity to reach their full potential and hopefully contribute to life in our communities.”
The distribution of assistance came after a request from applicants from various Armenian schools and at the urging of Archbishop Derderian. “The committee spent hours processing the applications and reviewing each case with an open mind,” said Mrs. Keusseyan. “Great care and sensitivity toward each applicant was used in the selection process. We have many bright students and we are pleased that the Fund will have a positive effect on the institutions and the youth of Armenians schooled in Armenian establishments.”
None of this is possible without the many benefactors and donors who have contributed over the years to the mission and cause since its inception in 2012. “Because of their generosity, we are able to provide students with the support they need to succeed at each stage of their education,” continued Mrs. Keusseyan. It is noteworthy to mention that The Fund has distributed $378,250 from 2013 to the present.
Current recipients of the Archbishop Hovnan Derderian Scholarship Fund include students from: AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School (Canoga Park, CA) with a sum of $50,000; the Armenian Sisters Academy (La Crescenta, CA) with a sum of $5,000); the C&E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School (Sherman Oaks, CA) with a sum of $2,500; St. Gregory A&M Hovsepian School (Pasadena, CA) with a sum of $30,000; the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America Saturday Schools (Burbank, CA) with a sum of $5,000; and the American University of Armenia (pillar) with a sum of $5,000. Additionally, three students from three different schools have received graduation gifts in the amount of $250 each.
The success of The Fund is truly an immense achievement. It demonstrates the faith and trust of donors in the Armenian schools and in the devotion of the teachers who maintain a rigorous curriculum. “We are grateful to all those who have shown their trust in our schools through their contributions,” said Abp. Derderian. “And we are equally grateful to the teachers who spend hours devoting their time to guiding and instructing our children in a healthy environment, whether online or in person”.
The Hovnan Derderian Scholarship Fund (The Fund) was established on the conviction that each and every Armenian student is entitled to an Armenian education within an Armenian school. Through scholarship and financial assistance program, The Fund is dedicated to helping Armenian students in financial need who are intent on pursuing their studies in an Armenian school, which has the added benefit of improving our community at large and developing leaders who are committed to serving their Church and their people.
For further information on The Fund and how you can faithfully believe in the future of our Armenian schools and in the youth they serve with the caliber of education they receive, we urge you to visit the Hovnan Derderian Scholarship Fund website and be part of the success through your donations to the Fund: