For several years now, recent university graduates in the U.S. have followed the example of Hovig Apo Saghdejian, by giving back to the Armenian community and cause. These students have participated in the ANCA's job placement and career development program set up in Washington, D.C. The program, Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program, has been named in his honor.
[caption id="attachment_2358" align="alignleft" width="199"] Saghdejian was young and full of life, only twenty-four at the time of his death[/caption]
Hovig's sister, Nayiri Saghdejian, and her father, Apo Saghdejian established a living legacy to honor the memory of Hovig. The program has offered public services to many Armenian youths by providing free housing in the Aramian House. Also, they have given valuable professional support to youth within the community as they begin their public policy careers.
Hovig was an activist fighting for the Armenian Cause since his youth and joined the AYF, Homenetmen, and Hamazkayin. In his teen years, he was already involved in the ANCA and politics. He interned for Congressman Radanovich and also assisted with other campaigns. He finally went to Armenia in 2003, and there he volunteered with other youth from around the world to help set up an infrastructure for a small village suffering with poverty. It was then that his vision for Armenia came about, one where people from all over would come together to serve Armenia.
[caption id="attachment_2357" align="alignright" width="300"] Program volunteers following in Saghdejian's footsteps[/caption]
Saghdejian feels that it is important for the youth to follow in her brother's footsteps, Armenians are a unique group of people who have survived, and they should be proud of their culture and history.
She spoke very highly of her brother and how everyone simply adored him saying that for Hovig life was a celebration and he would want them to continue to live that way.
Her hopes for the program's future are for more participants to join so that the numbers will rise from hundreds to thousands in time to come. Saghedijian also hopes to see the participants become leaders for generations of the future and to develop more centers like the Aramian House. More importantly, is that the legacy of her brother will live on as the program continues.