LOS ANGELES – AGBU is the world's largest Armenian non-profit organization, founded in 1906 in Cairo, Egypt.
The Western Territory includes California, Texas, and Arizona.
In California, programs serve the larger diaspora to study Armenian history, heritage, education, culture, humanitarian assistance, and socioeconomic development.
The General Union of the Western Region of Armenia (AGBU) has many programs for youth and adults. From STEAM education to scouting, athletics, dance, career development, and even a state-of-the-art concert hall where Armenia's most famous artists perform on stage.
“Our main mission is humanitarian and educational programs. They brought the entire community together and continue to instill Armenian values and heritage in future generations. And we look forward to continuing to do so for years to come,” said Grigor Demirjian, AGBU Pasadena-Glendale President.
“Wherever there are Armenians in the world, AGBU is very active. In fact, there is something for everyone and we have several departments and committees that work tirelessly throughout the year to organize special events,” said Dr. Maria Hakobyan, AGBU communications. strategy
Athletic Programs: The San Fernando Valley Chapter and the Pasadena-Glendale Chapter have their own programs.
For many people this is the beginning of their social life.
Maral Voskian is the president of the San Fernando Valley chapter. He has been a part of AGBU since he lived in Egypt as a child.
He attributed its development to organization.
"Organizations like ABGU help young Armenians not only learn about their culture, but also become good citizens of the countries where they live. They help these young people gain leadership qualities and not only help the Armenian community, but everyone," Vosk said. .
About a year ago, AGBU Innovation Studios' newest program was launched.
It is a creative space for children where they can access the latest technology, tools and software to bring their ideas to life.
“This is STEAM education that stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Middle and high school students have unique opportunities to create projects in architecture, robotics, game design, and more, and we know how important education is. Steam is intended for all children, regardless of their field of activity," says Dr. Hakobyan.
"It's for everyone. It's a very important skill for the future, a skill that students, participants, have to brainstorm, research, prototype, fabricate, use different laser cutting tools, use 3D printers. We emphasize the difference, we say fail first learn,” said Nare Avagyan.
AGBU Scout Group is an Armenian organization founded by American Scouts.
“I think what makes our team stand out is that all of our scout leaders came from our team. Our first leadership is the youth," Van Voskian said.
Aren Mirzayan has been doing scouting for 8 years. He loves how he is able to preserve Armenian heritage and give back to the community through service.
"He was a big part of my life. He taught me many things like leadership qualities, life skills in the future and he shaped me as a person," Mirzayan said.
“I was actually a scout between the ages of 5 and 16 and it was one of the most special moments of my life, especially camping. I keep in touch with those friends. I still remember the songs we learned and all the elements of the different Armenian culture,” said Dr. Hakobyan.
It is this spirit of brotherhood – kinship – friendship – family – tradition – culture – and identity that unites them all.
AGBU: Innovation Studios works with various school districts and the Los Angeles Unified School District; anyone can check it out.