LOS ANGELES - A local educational charity is continuing its seven decades of fundraising to provide scholarships to students in Southern California and around the world.
The Armenian Educational Foundation has helped thousands of local students and renovated hundreds of schools in Armenia since the 1990s.
The AEF is now raising awareness and funds to rebuild schools damaged by the recent war in Armenia and is also continuing its commitment to help students financially.
"Not every country can be like the United States. There aren't 100 different scholarships and there is not a lot of financial aid. There is no financial aid system over there," Peter Baghdassarian, Board Vice President of the Armenian Educational Foundation explained.
Many of the donors are in the Los Angeles area. A $1,000 pledge goes toward a college scholarship for one student in Armenia and Artsakh. These scholarships are the ticket for children to have a future-- and the school repairs are a chance for them to learn in a safe and comfortable environment.
"When we are able to send a village kid who wouldn't otherwise go to college, these people become productive members of their society so they don't need assistance afterward. They never call us back, in fact, a lot of our scholarship recipients become participants and continue to assist us and they give back." Baghdassarian added.
The AEF has helped build several schools in Southern California and has funded educational programs at universities like UCLA. Since its inception, the AEF has raised and donated nearly $20 million to educational institutions and students. It also organizes outreach programs like public speaking and essay contests for local students.