SOAR - La Cañada Chapter

SOAR-LaCanada@soar-us.org

Po Box 217
La Cañada, CA 91012-0217

Nestled in the picturesque Crescenta Valley, La Cañada-Flintridge is situated between the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest to the north and San Rafael Hills to the south. The city is home to Descanso Gardens and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

La Cañada-Flintridge has been home to many celebrities over the years, including Vince Vaughn; Angela Bassett; Mark Geragos; Ron Howard; Chris D’Elia; Diane Farr; Haley Joel Osment and Emily Osment; Kevin Costner; Bill Plaschke, Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus and Steve Priest. Three of Walt Disney’s top animators, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston and Eric Larson, as well as Academy Award winner Chris Buck, settled in this community. It is also a popular filming location, where portions of “American Pie,” “Date Movie,” “Old School,” and the 1946 Frank Capra / James Stewart holiday classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” were filmed.

The Crescenta Valley is heavily populated with an expanding Armenian community and has numerous Armenian organizations and centers. SOAR La Cañada brings SOAR’s important mission to the region, continuing to raise awareness of the needs of orphaned Armenians around the world.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Alique Bedikian, Psy. D. 
Co-President

Dr. Alique Bedikian graduated from Pacific Oaks College with a Master of Art in Marriage and Family Therapy and obtained a Doctoral degree in Applied Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Her research has focused on the Armenian-American community and Armenian ethnic identity. Dr. Bedikian is eager and devoted to serving the Armenian community through education, clinical and volunteer work, and research. While holding onto her personal commitment of adoption, she hopes to inspire others to welcome Armenian children into their families and/or contribute to the enrichment of their lives through SOAR.

Gayane Vahanyan
Co-President

Gayane Vahanyan has always had the passion and devotion to help others and do everything possible to help out her community. Educating people well have always been a part of Gayane’s professional life. As a human rights defender, she earned the trust and loyalty of many people. Now as a Realtor she’s done the very same, forging lasting relationships with satisfied clients who rely on her expertise. She has actively been involved in nonprofit organizations that focus on the rights of women and children in Armenia. She has also been helping the World Committee of Pan-Armenian Games to help connect Armenians from across the world. Originally from Armenia, Gayane holds two degrees and speaks fluent Armenian, Russian, English and French.

Maral Keosseian
Treasurer

Pic and Bio coming soon

Alina Aharonyan

Alina is a California registered tax preparer and her job requires close communication with clients. She believes that regular and high skilled communication with customers is a key to success. In fact, a client will feel valued and stay loyal, if you keep communicating in a well arranged and constructive way. Currently she is studying programming. In the future she is planning to combine both occupations – software development and tax preparation. She believes that characteristics of a successful Software Developer and Tax Preparer are fiscal acumen, analytical thinking, teamwork, computer proficiency, and strong communication skills and techniques.

Outside of work she is active in the Armenian community, she implemented different projects and programs to support the Armenian community in the Los Angeles area and enjoys keeping connected with them. Currently she is helping SOAR with finance assistant takes.

Based on her personal experience, supporting people expands on’s worldview and overall has a positive impact.

Community to a new nation and not being able to be and spend time with your family is very difficult and can have a toll on many people. Having this strong community to fall back  on is vital and has helped her become the person she is today.

Klara Harutyunyan

Klara was born and raised in Armenia. She obtained her degree in Linguistics at the University in Yerevan and started working in the NGO sector, also volunteering for the World Committee of Pan-Armenian Games. Klara is fluent in Armenian, Russian, English and Spanish. When she moved to Los Angeles in 2005 she followed her passion and went to one of the best professional makeup schools in Hollywood. She then started working in the entertainment and beauty industry having an amazing experience of working with world known celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Cindy Crawford, Sharon Stone, Christina Aguilera and others.
Now she is managing a home healthcare agency and working on a new career. Always learning, giving back and making a difference are things that excite her the most. She is now very happy to join SOAR and have the opportunity to contribute in the work of changing the lives of socially vulnerable children.

Karina Nazarian

Pic and Bio coming soon

Genya Petrosyan

Ms. Genya Petrosyan has long standing experience in the field of human rights. She holds a LL.B from Yerevan State University, as well as an LL.M from both Yerevan State University andthe American University of Armenia. Genya also many years of experience in working at the Human Rights Defender’s Office, where she started as a specialist of the Social, Economic and Cultural Rights Department. Later she was systematically upgraded up to the position of Deputy Human Rights Defender (2012-2014) and appointed the 1st Deputy Human Rights Defender of Armenia (2014-2015). She is a practicing lawyer engaged in civil and administrative cases. She has won a number of cases in different instances of the Armenian judicial system, as well as in the RA Constitutional Court. Ms. Petrosyan has extensive experience in strategic litigation. Ms Petrosyan has been involved as a human rights expert in different projects. In 2015-2018 Ms Petrosyan delivered a number of trainings for observers, media representatives, lawyers and trainers on election-related procedures. She is a co-author of several handbooks, manuals and guides in the field of human rights, good governance and election processes. She is also the Founder and Director of Law Development and Protection Foundation.