About the Owner:Faisal is the firstborn of his family. He has 10 siblings. His father died two years ago and since then Faisal has taken on the responsibility of taking care of his mother and siblings. He is married and has a seven-month old boy. Three of his siblings are in SS3 (final year in high school), and seven in primary school. Faisal finances the education of all of his siblings, pays the rent for the house they live in, and he provides money for them to live off of through what he makes through his car repair business. He even opened a little business for his mother to sell household provisions and foodstuffs, so she can make some money for herself.
Faisal had always had a flair for car mechanic work. He told his father, and his father took him to a car mechanic to be trained as an apprentice. He started working as an apprentice when he was in Primary 4 (4th year in Elementary school). After school every day and on weekends he would go to the workshop to work and be trained. He did this for 11 years before he opened up his own workshop in 2012.
Faisal applied to become part of Leadership Initiatives’ Business Creation Program where he learned how to own and operate a business and received additional training on how to repair automobiles. He bought the basic tools needed for his start up with N16,000 (about $99) with money he had saved from working over 11 years and from his first community investor (his mother) who gave him an additional N4,000 (about $25) she had saved up. Over the past two years Faisal has grown as a business owner and worked to build and expand his business. In 2014 Faisal joined Leadership Initiatives’ Expansion Program. He will now open up a mobile car mechanic site and over the course of the year will employ 15 people from ages 12 years- 26 years.
Aren Melkonian, Project Lead:
Aren Melkonian is currently a rising sophomore at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School. He continuously challenges himself by participating in extracurricular activities, honors and advanced placement classes. Currently, he is the president and founder of the FBLA club at his high school, and the Public Relations Officer of the J.S.A. chapter. He has also helped establish a non-profit organization named Chloe’s Walk(chloeswalk.com) which has helped change the lives of over 300 children. The organization helps children all around the world by funding surgeries for cleft lip or cleft palate repair. In terms of future projects, Aren is also working on establishing a non-profit under the name Students Help Students and a volunteering program in an elderly home.
Aren has a goal in mind to help anyone who is in need. He is participating in the Global Young Innovators Initiative program because of his moral belief in change and he believes this is the program that can help him influence a change upon others.
Nayiri Artounians, Media Chair:
Nayiri Artounians is currently a rising sophomore at Rose and Alex Pillbox Armenian School. She challenges herself in school by taking on rigorous AP courses and by participating in academic clubs, such as Model UN and Academic Decathlon. Outside of school, Nayiri attends Lark Musical Society, where she has been learning all aspects of music, serves as a student body member and has performed in the local community with the advanced ensemble and advanced choir groups. Keeping her goal of helping the community in mind, Nayiri has also volunteered at a summer camp and for State Assembly candidate Ardy Kassakhian during the past election. She is excited to be participating in the Global Young Innovators Initiative program, as she wants to utilize her skills to go beyond her hometown and reach out to others.
Nancy Bosnoian, Special Projects Chair:
Nancy Bosnoian is a Syrian Armenian student who currently lives in Los Angeles. She has been given extraordinary opportunities and has honed her skills as a leader by being the founder and president of the American Red Club at her school, the officer of international services and service to armed forces in the Executive Board Of the Red Cross Glendale chapter, and a UNICEF volunteer. To put her leadership skills to use, Nancy was sent as a volunteer to Ecuador and the Amazon Rainforest last summer on behalf of an organization to help build schools, participate in water walks, and spend a day in the life of the indigenous people. Nancy’s goal in life is to dedicate her time to helping as many individuals as possible, and she hopes her work will one day have influenced others.
For these reasons, she is very excited to take part in the Global Young Innovators Initiative program and cannot wait to show what she has to offer.
Johnny Kamakian, College Assistance Chair:
Johnny Kamakian is currently a sophomore at the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Manoogian Demirdjian School. He challenges himself by joining the most challenging classes including honors and AP courses. He also engages in extracurricular and athletic activities, such as Model United Nations, basketball, volleyball, and cross country. Johnny is also involved in his school and serves as a student council representative. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering for his school’s summer camp and packing donations for Armenia
Johnny is excited to participate in the Global Young Innovators Initiative program because he believes that the program will allow him to help people in much more effective way.
John Yakhszyan, Fundraising Chair:
John Yakhszyan is a rising sophomore at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School. He excels in all subjects, with a 4.0 GPA, but his forte is in math and sciences. John is interested in business, and likes discussing stocks and shares with his father. He is also involved in local politics and community service. His most recent ventures include volunteering for State Assembly candidate Ardy Kassahkian and helping out a child daycare in his neighborhood. With a few friends, John is also working on a future project that is currently in the works: a non-profit organization called Student Help Students.
Haroutyoun Joulfayan, Nigeria Partnership Chair:
Haroutyun Joulfayan is a leading sophomore from Los Angeles, California. He takes part in several AP and college classes to challenge himself. He is also active in his school’s academic clubs, such as JSA, Model UN, Mock Trial, and Academic Decathlon. Besides challenging himself academically, he also puts a lot of time into athletics, mainly hockey. Haroutyun works to recognize and fulfill his community’s needs, while representing them in the best way possible. Recently, he helped his local community by volunteering at local election offices in preparation for the State Assembly elections. He is beyond grateful that he is able to take part in the Global Young Innovators Initiative program. Through the program, he hopes to reach out to not only to his local community, but to other regions, and impact as many lives as possible.
1. Leadership Initiatives operates with extremely low overhead: almost every penny you donate goes directly to programming.
2. Every dollar we raise serves two purposes:
In the short term, community leaders create solutions to local problems that maximize existing community resources. In the long term, Leadership Initiatives builds honest, self-reliant generations of leaders who are equipped to empower entire nations.
3. The community development initiatives our students produce results which are completely self-sustaining and which continue compounding and growing with no outside funding.