Armenian Prelacy of Canada Announces Youth Ambassadors
MONTREAL, QC (December 8, 2021) – The Armenian Prelacy of Canada is pleased to announce the names of three Youth Ambassadors who will help guide, and support the Prelacy in its ongoing commitment to reach and engage Armenian youth throughout Canada in meaningful ways.
The inaugural group of Youth Ambassadors are between the ages of 25 and 40. They come from diverse backgrounds, and are all longstanding members and supporters of the Armenian Church, Prelacy and community. They include:
- Nazeeg Haneshian from Cambridge, Ontario, who is a Digital Strategy Consultant and an instructor within the University of Toronto’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. She also creates art through her jewellery line, Nazelie Designs, through which she has organized several fundraisers for Armenia and Artsakh.
Nazeeg holds a Bachelor of Honours in Economics and Business Administration with a minor in French from Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She has volunteered and held executive roles with the Armenian Youth Federation (KEM), Armenian Youth Organization (Badanegan) and Hamazkayin. She has experience teaching at the Armenian Relief Society school in Cambridge, and has been the organist at St. Nishan Armenian Apostolic Church for over 18 years.
- Deacon Sarkis Kidanian from Toronto, Ontario, who graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Music, and currently works as an Executive Assistant to an elected Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario. He credits the Armenian church with helping him learn the Armenian language from an early age.
Having not had the ability to go to an Armenian school, Sarkis credits the Armenian church alongside his parents with helping him learn to read, write and speak the Armenian language from an early age.
- Araz Toukmahji from Latakia, Syria, who grew up in Dubai, U.A.E. and has been residing in Montreal, Quebec for 23 years, where she works as Manager, Specialty Pharmacy Operations at Innomar Strategies, a leading service provider for specialty pharmaceutical, biotech manufacturers and healthcare professionals in Canada.
Araz graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, and also attained a Graduate diploma in Management (Healthcare Specialization) from McGill University. She is a member of St. Hagop Armenian Apostolic Church, Hamazkayin Montreal (Sanahin Chapter) and Armenian Relief Society Montreal (Sosse Chapter).
As Youth Ambassadors, the group will represent the Prelacy and actively work to connect with, and empower Armenian youth, giving them a voice and providing year-round opportunities for personal, professional and spiritual growth, support and involvement within the faith community, while also advocating on their behalf. They will be responsible for organizing a series of youth-led, in-person and online events, networking opportunities, activities, workshops, speaking engagements and forums where experiences and ideas can be exchanged and shared.
They have already begun to carry out their duties this past summer, as they were an integral part of the Youth Week 2021 Planning Committee. They provided strategic advice, partnership and promotional support, in addition to managing and administering the Prelacy’s Youth Week Grants Program and awarding process. Next, the Youth Ambassadors will be organizing a nationwide, online roundtable discussion with Armenian youth and His Eminence Archbishop Papken Tcharian for February 2022.
“The Armenian Prelacy and its Churches are delighted to be welcoming Nazeeg, Sarkis and Araz as its Youth Ambassadors, and we look forward to working with them to engage our youth and ensure they feel seen, heard, supported, comforted, inspired and loved,” said His Eminence Archbishop Papken Tcharian. “Today’s young people face many challenges and concerns. As part of our Christian community, we are committed to helping our youth as they seek deeper meaning and purpose in life, and encourage them to live with hope and faith in God’s eternal love.”
About Armenian Prelacy of Canada
The Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church is affiliated with and under the jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, located in Antelias, Lebanon. His Holiness Aram I is the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia and Archbishop Papken Tcharian is the Prelate of Canada. For more information about the Prelacy, please visit https://armenianprelacy.ca