As we reflect on 2018 we are grateful for another year of meaning, purpose and lots of complexity. From the complexity came great opportunity, learning and support. As an executive board, making an impact is very important to us. It is something we strive for in our personal and professional lives. As we look at how we navigated our life journey, it is exceptionally evident that it is the strength, love and wisdom of the community that helped each of us navigate and for that we are grateful.
As an organization and as a tribe of like-minded and like-hearted, we always care (“hokar”) about the well-being of those dear to us – in many ways “hokar” is at the core of being Armenian and the core of AIWA-SF.
During our last board meeting, a couple of weeks ago, we reflected on 2018 and set forth our 2019 plan, which we will publish in the next few days. Throughout 2018, AIWA-SF continued to support and grow initiatives in Armenia while hosting several events locally.
Our dedicated team continues to maintain its enthusiasm and passion in what we do, collaborating with the right partners in Armenia, including Children of Armenia Fund, American University of Armenia, Women Support Center, Synopsis Armenia, Tumo Center, Teach for Armenia, Mer Hooys, Yerevan State University and many more!
- We continue to focus on the social impact issue of Domestic Violence.
- Our Women’s Entrepreneurship and Women’s Leadership programs continue to thrive.
- We remain dedicated to the pursuit of education, from funding English classes to scholarships, education is a key pillar of our focus.
- We expanded our internship program and placed college aged females with internships at Teach for Armenia, Tumo Center, Synopsis Armenia and AIWA-SF.
AIWA-SF continued to hold several events locally. We have a very strong, active, and diverse community of supporters. Our events have fostered several connections, both personal and professional, and as the AIWA-SF community continues to grow, we look forward to continuing these events and traditions!
- Watermark Conference: In February, the SF affiliate hosted Junior and Senior high school students at the inspirational 1-day conference: Watermark Conference for Women, Young Women’s Program. The Young Women’s Program provides high school junior and senior girls with the opportunity to attend the Conference and participate in a seminar track designed especially for them. This was the 4th consecutive year that the SF affiliate participated. AIWA-SF will be participating this coming year; click here to apply!
- Bridging Our Worlds Gala: The AIWA-SF March Gala, “Bridging Our Worlds” was a great success. The sold out event brought together Armenians from around the globe. The keynote speaker, Magdalena Yesil, touched on the key to her career successes and highlighted parts from her new book, Power Up: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy. Her speech captivated the audience and was the highlight of the evening. The evening also included a captivating panel discussion featuring Stephanie Adrouny and Arra Yerganian, moderated by Kim Bardakian.
- Online shipping event: During the month of November and in conjunction with Giving Tuesday, we spearheaded an online shopping promotion, where a percent of each sale went to AIWA-SF, while supporting Armenian owned businesses.
- Alex & Ani: This December, we hosted our first event with Alex & Ani. In addition to supporting an Armenian business, the event raised funds for AIWA-SF (a percent of the proceeds were donated to AIWA-SF). This is a great way to support AIWA-SF during the holidays and is one of many events to come with Alex & Ani.
- Nutcracker: We have a tradition of gathering multiple generations together each December for the Nutcracker performance in San Francisco.
We thank 2018 for all the greatness, lessons and wisdom it brought us all. It is with grateful hearts and faithful minds we welcome 2019.
See you soon!