Meet the AIWA-SF Board: Rachel Nersesian

Rachel cropped

The AIWA-SF Board is happy to introduce its newest board member, Rachel Nersesian. After graduating from Georgetown University in 2014 with a degree in International Relations, Rachel moved to Armenia for one year to volunteer with the Birthright Armenia program. While in Armenia, Rachel interned with local organizations, learned Armenian, and traveled all over the country, from Meghri to Lori. Rachel returned to the Bay Area in September 2015 and looks forward to being involved in the Bay Area Armenian community and supporting AIWA-SF’s mission.

{Q} What is your fondest memory of traveling to Armenia?

{A}: I left Armenia 6 months ago and I still have difficulty answering this question. One of my many favorite memories is the first time I visited Tatev Monastery. I had only been in Armenia for about a month when I went to Tatev in October. The gorgeous fall colors of the mountains created the most staggering backdrop to the monastery. I remember standing on a balcony in the monastery complex overlooking the gorge listening to the river rush by below. The beauty of the monastery is only rivaled by the deep sense of history you can feel there. I visited Tatev three times over the span of a year, but the first visit made the most significant impression on me.

{Q}: What does being on the AIWA-SF board mean to you?

{A}: I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to join the AIWA-SF board. Being on the board is an amazing way to not only work with programs in Armenia supporting women, but to also engage with Armenians in the Bay Area. There is incredible potential for AIWA-SF to make a huge impact both in Armenia and in the Bay Area for Armenian women.

{Q}: What is your favorite Armenian tradition?

{A}: I love the traditional Armenian dances. I took a group dance class in Armenia and learned a few dances, although I admit I am not the best. After that, whenever a group spontaneously broke out into dance (which happened often), I could join them and I felt like I was part of a tradition.

{Q}: If you could use technology to do one thing, what would it be?

{A}: I think technology is already on its way to do this, but I would love to see technology build bridges across diverse populations more effectively. We live in an unprecedented time where we can communicate with people all over the world with little effort. This ability has an incredible potential to positively impact the way we understand and engage with individuals and groups that come from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

{Q}: What do you love most about where you grew up? 

{A}: I grew up in San Leandro and my favorite thing about the city is that in the right conditions, you can smell scent of chocolate coming from the local Ghiradelli chocolate factory. My favorite part about growing up in the Bay Area is its incredible diversity and friendly people.

{Q}: Where is your favorite place to go in the Bay Area/San Francisco?

{A}: I love to take advantage of our proximity to the ocean, whether it is having a picnic on the Berkeley Marina, driving in the East Bay hills to find the best vistas of the Bay, reading a book along the Embarcadero, or watching the sun set over San Francisco from the Alameda beach.

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