With a lifetime devoted to the AGBU Athletics Committee and Young Professionals Group in Buenos Aires, Ignacio Balassanian has made it count through his leadership, ensuring that Armenian heritage is perpetuated and strengthened in the younger generation.
Which AGBU project have you seen make the biggest impact? In this part of the world, everyone looks forward to the AGBU World Games. The World Games in Buenos Aires really made an impression on me. It showed me how huge these events can be. When I talk to people here, they live their lives from one World Games to another.
Do you have a “philosophy of giving back,” a motto, or a value or action you try to incorporat e into your volunteer work?
My grandfather, Hovsep, and my father Rafael set a true example for me. To give back we must work hard and be transparent in our efforts. AGBU’s philosophy has guided me to continue on this path.
What project would you like to see develop or grow? At the Marie Manoogian School in Buenos Aires, we were lucky enough to go to Armenia, and I hope more people can go. I only had the chance to go once, but I am planning to go again.
Tell me about your trip to Armenia. I went in 1999, which was a different Armenia than now, and it opened my eyes. I got a real panorama of what Armenia is: what is good, what is not so good. The negative aspects gave me perspective on what to do, and the positive aspects motivated me. Since then, I have been able to work more realistically.
What is your favorite AGBU memory? Whether through late night meetings of the YPs or Liga members, or training sessions with my teammates, I have learned that finding a commonality with my peers is key to making things happen. These programs give us an opportunity to collaborate in a group, improve our communication skills and develop leadership qualities. When we work together, we make things happen.