Since the introduction of Alumni Leadership Awards in 2018, we’re continuing to see a growing alumni community, currently 1,800+ from 49 countries, leading the charge to develop their communities and homeland for a better tomorrow. What we’re clearly experiencing is the echo effect—the impact of our alums staying engaged in programs and projects that positively benefit Armenia and so many communities around the globe. We celebrate in their successes, new leadership roles, and sense of duty. For 2019, we’d like to recognize those alumni who best exemplify leadership in the following categories:
- Professional Achievement
- Young Philanthropist/Give Back Service
- Civic Participation
- Artistic/Cultural Achievement
- Spirit of Birthright Armenia
Congratulations go out to Tatevik Revazian, Christine Serdjenian Yearwood, Sevan Ozkul and Shant Abraamyan (joint recipients), each of whom has designated a charitable non-profit for their award of a $1,000 contribution made in their name. Below are short bios and summaries of their achievements for which they have earned this recognition.
The Professional Achievement Award goes to Tatevik Revazian, 31, 2010.
Tatevik was born in Armenia and moved to Denmark in 1993 at the age of five. During the course of her life, she’s visited 57 countries, but she believes that the most life-changing experience for her was found in Armenia.
At age 19 her work in the aviation field began. Her intense experience in negotiating and managing global aviation-related commercial contracts, and in-depth research conducted on government impact on airport growth, not only made her the first female to lead the Civil Aviation Committee in Armenia, but also makes Tatevik the youngest leader in the world with such a position at age 31.
Tatevik holds degrees in Management of Innovation and Business Development from Copenhagen Business School and in International Management (CEMS MIM) from Stockholm School of Economics. In addition, she has international studies and work experience in San Francisco, London, Copenhagen and Stockholm.
Tatevik’s designated organization for her $1000 award is ''Women's Empowerment Center'' a non-profit organization that focuses on women empowerment, as she wants to create a community where everyone feels empowered to lead and achieve their goals.
Civic Participation/Service Award goes to Christine Serdjenian Yearwood, 35, 2008.
Christine was born and raised in Waterville, Maine. She holds an M.E. in Higher Education from Harvard University, an M.S.T. in ESL from Pace University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Brown University. Since having her first child in 2015, Christine’s work has focused on improving accessibility for pregnant women, lactating mothers, families, and caregivers. She is the Founder and CEO of UP-STAND, which provides pop-up lactation and diaper changing stations at events and conferences, consulting services for businesses and organizations looking to become more family-friendly, and a product line to improve accessibility for individuals and companies.
She is a frequent speaker at transit rallies, hearings, and forums relating to accessibility matters and also a member of the Advisory Committee for Transit Accessibility (ACTA),working with New York City Transit on a range of accessibility issues. Last year she was awarded two neighborhood grants by the Citizens Committee of New York City both to improve accessibility locally.
Christine lives in Queens, NY, with her husband Jose and two young children, Ani and Antonio. "I am so honored to receive this award. My time working and living in Armenia through Birthright Armenia, and everything that has happened in the country since then, taught me so much about what is possible through civic participation. I am excited to have an organization making positive change for women and children in Armenia, GOALS: Girls of Armenia Leadership Soccer, be the receiving organization of the recognition award funding."
The Give Back Service Award gets shared jointly by Sevan Ozkul, 22, 2017, (left below) and Shant Abraamyan, 25, 2015.
Sevan was born and raised in France, into a proud Armenian family that visits Armenia every year to support its development. In 2017 he joined Birthright Armenia in order to deepen his ties with his homeland, and better understand the customs as his goal was to join the Armenian military service post volunteering. He believes that this experience allowed him to immerse himself in Armenia with a different perspective, to better understand the environment in which native Armenians live. After his experience and joining the Armenian Army, Sevan lives by the philosophy that he is serving his country, and Armenia does not owe him anything in return.
Sevan’s designated non-profit entity for his $500 award is ''Zinvori Mayr,'' an organization that provides educational, consulting, legal and moral support to soldiers, their families and pre-conscripts’ families.
Shant is a first generation Armenian American, born and raised in Glendale, CA, within a primarily Armenian-speaking family. During high school, he became more interested in Armenian culture and started to learn more about its history. That’s when his love for Armenia sparked, and as he learned more, his love for his Homeland continued to grow. In 2019 Shant decided the ultimate giveback to Armenia would be to truly serve, which is why he enlisted in the Republic of Armenia’s Army after completing his volunteerism with Birthright Armenia.
Upon learning about this recognition award for service to his country Shant wrote back: “It is an honor to receive such an award. Many thanks to Birthright Armenia for aiming to inspire other Armenians and giving back to the community. I would like the $500 donation to go to Hayrenaser, an NGO whose mission is to preserve and develop Armenia's independent statehood. Hayrenaser is based in Artsakh and is run by fellow Birthrighter, alumna Nelli Martirosyan."
DO YOU HAVE A NOMINATION FOR NEXT YEAR?
We know many more of you are accomplishing great things for your community and homeland, so we will continue the existing nomination process which helps us to learn more about those achievements. Alumni can nominate themselves or nominate another alum for consideration in one of the following six categories:
- Professional Achievement Alumni Award
- Mentorship Alumni Award
- Young Philanthropist Alumni Award
- Civic Participation Alumni Award
- Artistic/Cultural Achievement Alumni Award
- Spirit of BR Award
The deadline for 2020 recognition award nominations is April 30, 2020. Please submit answers to the following five questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “2020 Alumni Leadership Recognition Awards”.
- Name of alum for consideration, self or other
- Identify which of the six categories the nomination is being made
- Reason for nomination including specific actions/projects and length of involvement
- What has changed/improved as a result of the alum’s actions/specific involvement, and how?
- Your name and BR/DH year of participation