• AGBU Vice President and Chair of the AGBU Schools of Southern California Mr. Sinan Sinanian congratulates AGBU Eagle Scout Arek Shirvanian, who oversaw the construction of the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School’s new locker room. (From right to left) Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, MDS Board of Trustees member Dr. Silva Karayan, Principal Mr. Hagop Hagopian and Father Shnork Demirjian look on at the athletic room’s ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo credit: Jessica Assatourian

  • AGBU Eagle Scout Arek Shirvanian presents the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School’s new locker room, which he built with support from the community. Photo credit: Jessica Assatourian

  • Members of the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School’s Booster Club, Parent Teacher Organization, and Alumni Association gather on the school’s new soccer field, made possible with over $120,000 fundraised.

  • Following the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School’s opening ceremony, students play on their brand-new soccer field, the product of support from school committees, families and friends. Photo credit: Jessica Assatourian

September 9, 2013 | Press Releases

AGBU Scout Unveils New Athletic Room for AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School

1,000 Gather for School’s Opening Ceremony and Soccer Field Inauguration

“I left MDS after the eighth grade, but my heart has been there ever since. I’m really proud I was able to realize my goal as an AGBU Scout while supporting my alma mater.”

Arek Shirvanian, a longtime AGBU Scout, attended the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School (MDS) through middle school. Last year, when the 17-year old decided to earn his Eagle Scout badge by developing a community service project, he knew it was the perfect opportunity to return to his old campus. As Arek details, “I wanted not only to achieve my Eagle Scout title, but at the same time to give back to my AGBU school.” Because of him, when MDS students headed back to their classrooms last month, something special awaited them: a brand-new locker room, which Arek made possible.

For Arek, turning his goal into reality meant managing every phase of the project from start to finish. He began by making door-to-door solicitations and petitioning local vendors to donate materials. Soon, support was secured, plans were in place, and he had assembled a team of adults and students who shared his passion. Arek’s friends from MDS, the AGBU Scouts group, as well as his current high school joined forces to overhaul the space. Together, they worked on the demolitions, woodwork, painting and varnishing, all under Arek’s supervision. The result, after close to 1,000 hours of work: a new and welcomed addition to the MDS gymnasium.

As the school year kicks off, the MDS students have a new opportunity to show the same dedication that Arek has, to both their school and their community. Keeping with the annual MDS tradition, at the opening ceremony, AGBU Vice President and Chairman of AGBU Schools in Southern California Mr. Sinan Sinanian formally announced the opening of the school year. MDS Principal Mr. Hagop Hagopian also addressed the student body, stating, “Our expectations are not confined to your academic outcomes only, but also to the character traits you should be developing under the caring and nurturing guidance of your teachers in order to become honorable, well-rounded and truly successful future citizens.” The students and the faculty are already up to the challenge; Vice Principal of the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian High School Mrs. Anahid Nalbandian shared that MDS has been accredited, for a 6-year term, with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The speakers were joined by Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, who delivered his own encouraging remarks.

Students wasted no time rushing out of the locker room and onto the new MDS soccer field, which was the product of fundraising by the Alumni Association, Booster Club, Parent Teacher Organization and Soccer Field Task Force. Those groups brought in a total of $120,000 to revamp the grounds. They were among the 1,000 students, faculty members, family and friends to attend the annual MDS opening ceremony. As they watched the students score the first of many goals on their new arena, they knew it marked the start of another successful year to come.

To learn more about the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School, please visit www.agbumds.org.

For additional information on AGBU Scouts, please email youth@agbu.org.

Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world's largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 500,000 Armenians around the world.

For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please visit www.agbu.org

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