Griselda Balian, an architect from Buenos Aires, was recently hired to design the AGBU Scout House. An AGBU alumna since kindergarten, Balian credits AGBU with influencing much of her work and life. In 1998, together with fellow Youth Committee members, Balian helped launch the online and print magazine Generación 3—currently in its 28th issue.
I remember for me, AGBU was really like a second home. On any Friday or Saturday night, if we didn’t have plans, my friends and I would head straight to AGBU.
When did you become involved with AGBU? Throughout kindergarten to high school, I attended the AGBU Marie Manoogian Institute. From a young age, I actively participated in many after school activities, including various sports, the Liga de Jóvenes Youth Committee and the AGBU South American Games. My family also had close links to the organization. My grandparents were both presidents of the Executive Council of AGBU while my mother was a member of the Comisión de Madres Mother’s Guild.
What are your favorite memories of AGBU? I remember for me, AGBU was really like a second home. On any Friday or Saturday night, if we didn’t have plans, my friends and I would head straight to AGBU. I also have fond memories of participating in the AGBU South American Games in Montevideo, Uruguay. Playing volleyball I made a lot of great friends at the games. In fact I’m still close with the twelve other girls who were my teammates. We were also part of the Youth Committee together, and our magazine, Generación 3, came out of that experience. We specifically launched the graphic design elements while others wrote and carried out the journalism aspects of the magazine.
How important is your Armenian heritage to you? Being Armenian has influenced my entire life. There is this incredible brotherhood or sisterhood that exists amongst all Armenians no matter where you may find yourself. Whether you are in Montevideo or Buenos Aires or any other part of the world, you always have this sensation of Armenian-ness, a common feeling that makes it easy to develop friendships and relate to people you barely know. Through AGBU, my heritage has also influenced my career. Even before I was hired to design the Scout House, I was in contact with AGBU offering advice about various ideas over the years. And then, when the resources for a new building became available, they contacted me to design it.
Banner Illustration by Luis Tinoco