LOS ANGELES — The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region proudly announced the official establishment of the Walter and Laurel Karabian Foundation for Public Policy. Housed under the ANCA-WR, the Foundation will be the first Sacramento based fellowship program of its kind with the goal of preparing the next generation of Armenian-American policy leaders.
“The ANCA-WR has been looking to establish such a program in Sacramento for many years, and Mr. Karabian’s generosity has finally enabled us to do so. Throughout his life, Mr. Karabian has mentored countless young individuals, paving the way and guiding them in their pursuit of higher education, community service and public office, and it is only fitting that his legacy and work continue through this fellowship program,” noted ANCA WR Chair Nora Hovsepian. “We are grateful to Mr. Karabian for entrusting us with this unique program that will serve our community for generations to come and will empower our youth to seek careers in public policy,” added Hovsepian.
Initially announced in late October in front of over 1,400 supporters, donors, and activists during the ANCA-WR Annual Gala Banquet where the Honorable Walter Karabian was honored with the ANCA WR Legacy Award, the fellowship program is geared toward recent college graduates and is made possible by the Karabian family’s generous funding.
“Having been a legislator and leading a productive life in politics, I know firsthand the value of programs that will develop the next generation of leaders,” stated Karabian. “The ANCA-WR is the leading Armenian advocacy organization and has a strong track record of deliverables, which include internship and externship programs for the youth in the community. For this reason, it is my honor to help plant the seeds for a much needed public policy program for our youth in the Golden State’s Capital. I am confident that under the supervision of the ANCA-WR, this program will expand and flourish in coming years to produce a generation of new policy leaders,” added Karabian.
“It has been a wonderful, productive, and glorious life for me, and I gratefully accept this honor. Do I have any regrets? Yes, several, but only two loom large in my memory. I wish my wonderful wife Laurel could be with us tonight. Having left us a year ago, she would have loved this evening and the continuation of the Armenian Nationalism of her father, Arshag Dickranian. I also regret the fact that I was not persuasive enough to convince George Deukmejian to pardon Hampig Sassounian.”
The yearlong fellowship will be divided into two six month long phases. During the first six months, fellows will work on public policy related matters in Sacramento ranging from state office holders and administrative offices, to non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, labor unions and consulting firms. During the second six months, fellows will work exclusively for one legislator in the Assembly or Senate.