Araksya Karapetyan on family, her career and Armenia

- Araksya Karapetyan wakes up in the middle of the night, drives to work and delivers the news to Southern California residents well before sunrise.

She's an anchor on FOX 11 in Los Angeles beginning at 4:30 a.m. and is a mother, wife and proud Armenian -- among many other things.

She credits a lot of the success in her life and her family's life to her great-uncle, who first moved to the United States and helped bring the rest of her family over from Armenia.

"It's the complete, classic American dream story where he started off with absolutely nothing. He worked his way up, became very successful... He basically got us all to move here, together."

Her family left everything behind in Armenia and immigrated to the United States when she was 7-years-old. A devastating earthquake, a brewing conflict with Azerbaijan and the demise of the Soviet Union all contributed to her family's decision to leave their homeland. 

Her family settled in the South Bay of Los Angeles, and only able to speak Armenian and Russian at the time, she began learning English and adjusting to life in America.

"I remember when the plane touched down I looked down and I saw all these palm trees. I'm like, 'Are we in Africa?' because as a kid I remember watching movies, and palm tress, for me, I associated for some reason with Africa."

Araksya eventually went to college at Syracuse University and obtained a degree in International Relations and Broadcast Journalism.

But it wasn't until she went back to visit Armenia that she found her true passion for journalism. Instead of doing the typical "touristy" things, she brought her camcorder and started interviewing every day people on the street to hear their stories. 

Upon returning to America, she was hooked. She started interning at KABC in Los Angeles and KFI 640 AM radio in Burbank before landing her first reporting job at KIDK in Idaho Falls. She then moved to KOIN in Portland before returning home to Los Angeles at FOX 11.

When reflecting back on her family's story, she said: "Even when I'm on TV, there are moments when I look around the studio and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, how did I end up here?'"

Araksya joined me on Olympic & Bundy to talk about her background and what led her to broadcast journalism, her close-knit family and what it was like moving to America at a child, getting married, becoming a mother and much more!

Listen to the full episode with Araksya Karapetyan on April 15!

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