GLENDALE — In adherence to its long-standing tradition of supporting educational programs for local Armenian students, the Armenian Educational Foundation (AEF) is hosting its Fifth Annual Oratorical Contest following four successful years.  This year’s competition is in collaboration with UCLA’s Center for World Languages and will feature the inaugural competition for middle schools. The public speaking competition will take place at UCLA’s Royce Hall Room 314, located at 10745 Dickson Ct., Los Angeles, on Saturday, January 27, 2024. The middle school round will take place at 10:00 a.m. and the high school round will take place at 2:00 p.m.

Students representing Southern California Armenian high schools and middle schools will participate in the Armenian and English language speaking contests. The schools participating in the competition this year include A.G.B.U Manoogian-Demirdjian School, Armenian Mesrobian School, Armenian Sisters’ Academy, C & E Merdinian Evangelical School, Chamlian Armenian School, Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School, Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, and Sahag Mesrob Armenian Christian School.

AEF is pleased to have a distinguished panel of judges, including Armine Amiryan (Head of News at USArmenia TV), Alex Bastian, Esq. (President and CEO, Hotel Council of San Francisco), Dr. Hagop Gulludjian (Senior Lecturer of Armenian Studies at the UCLA Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department), Tereza Hovhannisyan (Lecturer of Eastern Armenian Language at the UCLA Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department), Araksya Karapetyan (News Anchor for FOX 11 and Good Day LA), Dr. Lilit Keshishyan (Project Director, USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies, Lecturer, The USC Writing Program), Zaven Keuroghlian (Co-Founder and CEO of Zartonk Media), Ani Hovannisian Kevorkian (Documentary Filmmaker), Gegham Mughnetsyan (Chitjian Researcher Archivist, USC Institute of Armenian Studies), Sev Ohanian (Screenwriter and Film Producer), Dr. Shant Shekherdemian (Associate Professor of Surgery, Interim Chief of Pediatric Surgery at UCLA, Associate Director for Healthcare Outreach / UCLA Promise Armenian Institute) and Vruir Tadevosian (TV Host, Journalist at Horizon Armenian TV).

Lara Petrossian and Kristina Kheshvadjian, AEF Oratorical Committee Co-Chairs, stated, “AEF has such a significant global impact, providing the opportunity for educational advancement for so many students both here and abroad. We are proud to be part of a program that promotes critical thinking and public speaking, and allows our students to refine a skill set that will be invaluable to their future success.”

AEF was established in 1950 to provide financial support to Armenian students and Armenian educational institutions and programs in Armenia, Artsakh and the diaspora.  All AEF programs are planned and executed by volunteers with minimal overhead – assuring donors that their contribution is used directly towards the program they support.

For more information on the Armenian Educational Foundation or to donate online, please visit

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