"In the summer, eight juniors participated in an internship at Orran in Yerevan, Armenia. The internship was truly an experience we will never forget; we were able to give back to our Armenian community by spending time with disadvantaged children, some of whom are from single parent families or suffer from health issues. Our tasks included teaching the children English, teaching them songs, and helping them with their homework. It was a sad but very rewarding experience, as we learned of the sensitive situations of the children we had grown to love in such a short time. We realized what a positive impact and influence we had made on the children with whom we had become emotionally connected.
One sensitive case revolved around an 8-year-old girl named Marushik; her dad is in jail and her mother is in a wheelchair. The directors of Orran told us that all household responsibilities were placed on the shoulders of this little girl. Because Marushik did all hers and her mother’s laundry by hand, we decided to collect money from everyone in the tenth grade class and from our internship group and buy her a laundry machine. The Orran directors tell us of how much the laundry machine has helped ease Marushik’s and her mother’s daily struggles.
Along with student council, The Helping People Through the Arts club collected approximately 200 pairs of new shoes for the children at Orran. We were informed that on their first day of school, the children happily went to school with their first pairs of brand new shoes. We would like to thank the school administration for allowing the club to pursue such endeavors to help children in Armenia. During the internship, members of the Helping People Through the Arts club donated approximately $3000 to the Ministry of the Diaspora of Armenia, where our principal Mrs. Avanessian personally gave the funds to Syrian-Armenian immigrants who left their country after the war to establish better lives in Armenia. Lastly, the internship group visited the soldiers’ hospital in Armenia. Haig Meghsian made a personal endeavor to help his brothers in Armenia by giving $2000 from his own savings to wounded soldiers.
Overall, the internship was an experience we will dearly cherish. We all highly recommend other students from our school to continue with this newly established tradition of spending a portion of their summers to work to helping our homeland."