30 Jul, 2021

Hello everyone, my name is Taleen Nazarian! Being raised in the city of Pasadena, where a large Armenian community resides, I had the opportunity to attend Armenian school, become involved in the Armenian church, and join several Armenian programs that all helped to shape my Armenian identity. Both my family members and my Armenian teachers played an integral role in teaching me the Armenian language, enlightening me about the culture and history, and instilling a long-lasting appreciation for my Armenian heritage. 

One of my most life-changing events occurred during my first visit to Armenia with my high school class during the summer of 2015. Everything I had learned about Armenia in the classroom and online throughout the years had finally come to life. I had the opportunity to visit ancient Armenian churches and museums, speak to local Armenians, and volunteer and serve my homeland. During this trip, we visited the Sardarabad Memorial, where we were able to plant over 40 trees due to the contributions of many diasporan Armenians and the work of the Armenia Tree Project. Upon my first visit to Armenia, I was able to take part in an opportunity that would continue to live on and sustain even after my departure. The work of the Armenia Tree Project extends beyond tree planting; it provides countless jobs to local Armenians and makes a positive environmental impact on the country. The Armenia Tree Project builds bridges with schools and programs within the Armenia diaspora to help children and adults alike to develop a deeper connection with the homeland.

Since graduating from high school, I have attended and graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Criminology, where I was involved in the Armenian Students’ Association and the Armenian Studies Program. I am currently working as a Community Assistant at the new Armenian Academy at Blair High School, which gives any Armenian student the opportunity to learn and embrace the Armenian language and culture. 

In Fall 2021, I will be attending USC to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, where I hope to gain knowledge and experience that will allow me to benefit local and diasporan Armenian educational institutions.