Bosnian Genocide Remembrance

I stand with my Bosnian-American friends on their most difficult day of remembrance of Srebrenica Genocide. July 11th marks the 22nd anniversary of the Bosnian Genocide. Even today, 22 years later, mass graves are discovered, bones are matched, the victim identified and buried by their loved ones. As an Armenian Genocide survivor myself, I deeply understand your heart’s agony of losing family members to the worst evil. Your trauma. We must remember, we must learn from history. Hatred, intolerance and discrimination can lead to language, policy, and can unleash the worse kinds of atrocities on our fellow humans. Remember the thousands of executed boys, men, and elderly, and dumped into mass graves. Remember the 20,000 – 30,000 girls and women were systematically raped as a tactic of war. Survivors live with this trauma… for most there will never be justice.


High School Graduation

This will be my 3rd year handing diplomas to our High School graduates and I still get emotional remembering how it was when I graduated from Twin Falls High School. I was so scared for my own independent life to begin. Worried for my future. I had no scholarships, my parents could not afford college, we couldn’t even afford a graduation gown. I knew one thing for sure. I wanted to be an educated human. My parents always told me “everything else can be taken away from a person, except for their self respect and education.” The university of life taught me most of what I know, but formal schooling provided me with tools needed to organize my dreams. Absolutely proud of our 2017 graduates, they worked hard to get to this point! They succeeded on one of life’s longest journeys. Congratulations to CRHS, TFHS and MVHS CLASS OF 2017 we celebrate you today!!! Your achievement! Your dedication to your future. Your commitment to graduating! Keep going, keep upgrading your mind, keep soaring and never give up on your dreams. I encourage each of you to continue on to college, university or pursue vocational training beyond High School. I say a little prayer for each of them in my heart as I hand them their diploma. A prayer that they do not settle, do not get discouraged, do not give up on their young dreams… a prayer that each of them reaches their pure potential in life. Education is EVERYTHING.

Parks & Rec Commission Service Award

What’s this? Humbled by this surprise. Thank you to the people of the City of Twin Falls for opportunity to serve, learn and grow with our community. When I was appointed to the P&R Commission 8 years ago, I was nervous, because I was pregnant with my first child and unsure how I would balance. Becoming a parent has only created more passion and purpose in me to preserve our sacred nature, the importance of parks and a healthy community. Since then, both my children have grown up in City Meetings and watching my example of civic duty in my adoptive country. This is most important to me, to demonstrate to my children proactive citizenship. I encourage all my peers to serve, at least once in your lifetime, on a government commission, community round table, school groups. Teach your children to participate in their democracy and appreciate their way of life here. Thank you again Twin Falls! #VoteBabayan #TwinFallsCityCouncil

Twin Falls Superintendent

By far, in my life I have never felt a more serious duty assigned to me than the hiring of a new superintendent for the Twin Falls School District. This is unlike the intense responsibility I felt when I became a mother. Incomparable to the gravity of selecting the one person who will guide the most important institution in a democratic society. My dedicated Board Member colleagues and I have spent months on this process, recruiting, meeting, vetting, interviewing, reviewing, interviewing again… outside of protocol, I have prayed and meditated for wisdom to guide me clear minded. This is a huge responsibility! Humbled by the opportunity.

Halloween Event / CLIF BAR Partnership

Honored to partner up with CLIF BAR this year to encourage the importance of physical activity and healthy snack options. Bring your children Downtown to Trick-or-Treat at Ooh La La. Halloween is the perfect opportunity to educate the parents in our community about childhood obesity. Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in Idaho have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in Idaho are overweight or obese. If we don’t solve this problem, one third of all children will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma. Let's play, eat and snack healthy Magic Valley. Thank you, Clif Bar for nourishing kids in motion!

Salvation Army

You never forget the compassion & kindness of strangers towards you – especially when you have absolutely nothing to offer back. The Salvation Army was first to welcome us Armenian, Russian and Bosnian refugees when we arrived to Twin Falls. Without making us feel like charity, TSA picked up where CSI Refugee Program left us – helping us cope with loneliness, with cultural adjustment, form new friendships, financial advising, after school homework, exposing us children to music, theater and the arts. I am forever grateful. Made a promise to God back then, that one day, I would give back to the organization that took care of my family. That day has come. Proud to be officially enrolled by Lt.Cook to serve on The Salvation Army Advisory Board! My turn to give back.

Senate Education Committee hearing

At the Senate Education Committee hearing, presenting education resolutions with Idahos School Board Association.Honored to represent Twin Falls at the Capital. Love being part of the education reforms taking place in Idaho. Investing in our teachers, students and our District and Charter schools is investigating in this country’s democracy. Education is Freedom.

Thanksgiving with the Salvation Army

In less than 15 minutes this gymnasium will transform into the largest Thanksgiving dinner in our city. This dinner will bring together people in our community who are invisible to most of us, but are the priority for The Salvation Army. They each have a name, a soul, a story and are stuck in a cycle of extreme poverty. They might not have a warm place to stay, or a job to provide, or even a family to share a Thanksgiving Holiday with. Remember them in your prayers, for their safety and betterment. Be grateful all year long for all the simple, yet solid blessings in your life.