At the Armenian Museum of America, from left, Michele Kolligian, Rosalyn Minassian, Armine Hovhannissian and Rachel Kaprielian

New Paths Bridging Armenian Women at First Year

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By Rosalyn Minassian

BOSTON — New Paths-Bridging Armenian Women started over a cup of coffee while chatting with my friend and co-founder, Armine Hovhannissian. With technology and advancements in social media, we thought Armenian women have no “online” presence offered with absolutely no membership fees, an inclusive space for fragmented Armenian communities, a place where women may connect to share their stories, professional and personal experiences, setbacks and achievements. That was October 2016. It has been an organically growing and ongoing learning experience for the Believing Committee of Volunteers since the initial cup of coffee. Should you wish to continue reading our story, you will quickly find majority of New Paths (NP) members to be from the New England area, yet thanks to Facebook, we engage and connect with our sisters all over the world. Our success stories validate our vision and believing in the power of unity, we are bridging Armenian women.

The inaugural meeting of New Paths, which featured Yn. Natasha Aljalian as speaker

 

On January 29, NP launched a kick-off event held and generously sponsored by Phinix Grill, Belmont, with Guest Speaker, Yn. Natasha Aljalian, an attorney and an active member of St. James Armenian Church, who also happens to be married to Rev. Arakel Aljalian. Natasha Aljalian spoke about the significance of uplifting one another as women, and the importance of educating, inspiring and empowering women in our community. She shared examples from her childhood to present day life, reconfirming the importance of women having helpful discussions with a circle of support.

Embracing the perks of social media, the group members have created a series of informative career oriented topics via Facebook Live Feed. From the comfort of their homes, members had opportunity to view a committee member, Araxi Postaljian discuss resume writing, best sources for job search and tips for interviewing. The group was fortunate also to have guest speaker Rita Balian Allen, president of Rita B. Allen Associates, a national career management firm specializing in executive coaching and career development and author of the book titled Personal Branding and Marketing Yourself. Allen shared valuable insight from her book on the topic.

An on-line survey led by Lusine Hagopian Baghsarian, marketing professional and committee member, resulted in the number one topic of interest: confidence. On May, a forum titled “Women Walking with Confidence” was sponsored and held at the Armenian Museum of America in Watertown. President of the Armenian Museum Board Michele Kolligian eloquently defined the group’s mission: “New Paths-Bridging Armenian Women is a community for women of Armenian heritage to share personal and professional experiences in an unthreatening and supportive environment. Knowledge is power; I applaud Rosalyn Minassian and Armine Hovhannissian for developing this much-needed platform and initiative for Armenian women to share their stories, exchange ideas, offer advice and ultimately raise awareness in areas that otherwise may have been overlooked. Sharing the same cultural background is an added bonus.”

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Guest Speaker Kristin Asadourian, a professional life coach, went right to the core of the subject, it was an emotionally moving session packed with women from all walks of life and everyone left the evening more inspired and empowered. As one of NP’s members shouted: “We have all been hungry for these types of events in our community!”

Keynote speaker Rachel Kaprielian, a former Massachusetts state representative, shared her experiences on the campaign trail and election. Leaving a lasting impression on attendees, the crowd was in awe of her courage and confidence. She said about the group: “New Paths has an almost magical quality to it. It’s a group of smart, accomplished familiar ‘khnamie’ and the support we give and derive from one another is incredible. These are the women I want to know; in work, in my neighborhood, and in my circle of trust. I believe it will help us to accomplish great things as individuals, as a sisterhood and as a part of the larger community.”

In September, to wrap up a year of live events, the group organized a program called “Hello Gorgeous” bringing together beauty experts. The significant theme to the event was three competing professionals in the same field can collaborate and be successful together. Close to a hundred women enjoyed learning about the importance in skin care from Arlene Maserejian, award-winning, LME CLT Licensed aesthetician owner of Blush Spa. Garineh Ashjian, makeup artist, owner of Glamour Cosmetics gave a tutorial about how to conceal dark circles and Ani Davtyan, a fellow makeup artist and owner of Makeup by Ani, taught those attending about formal evening makeup.

Siranush Hakobyan and Hasmik Tatian, owners of KaterArt in Rhode Island, generously catered the event. Artist Larisa Martino of Larisa Designs of Cranston, RI shared her beautiful works of art and Michele Kolligian hosted the event at the Armenian Museum.

Without support from strong and passionate women none of this would have been possible.

The Believing Committee Members also want to thank business donors, Accessory Designer, Anet Abnous of California, decorative dandle designer Susana Seropyan-Der Kosrofian, designer Karine Abgaryan and Ksenia Verdiyan, photographer of Verdi Studio.

New Paths can be reached at: newpathsinfo@gmail.com or on Facebook, look for New Paths-Bridging Armenian Women (https://www.facebook.com/groups/115978938867164/).