Karen Setian speaks on Vahagn Foundation



Benjamin Shofet, co-editor-in-chief
Karen Setian, on Nov. 29, spoke in his annual assembly in the Salter Theater about the passing of his son, Vahagn Setian, in a drunk driving incident.
It was 10 years ago when the entire Beverly Hills High School community went into shock. On the night of Dec. 2, 2006, three Beverly students entered the car of a drunk 26-year-old Texan, who crashed the car on South Beverly Drive and Vahagn was killed. Vahagn was the only person in the crash who died.

Karen Setian speaks to students in Salter Photo by BEN SHOFET
Karen Setian speaks to students in Salter Photo by BEN SHOFET

“All I managed to do was close his eyes forever at Cedars Sinai, and nothing more,” Karen Setian, the father of Vahagn, said.
Rather than remain silent, Vahagn’s father, Karen, created the Vahagn Setian Charitable Foundation to educate the community about the importance of the decisions that people make in their daily lives.
“I am not here to share my pain with you, I am here to communicate it, and don’t want you to carry it” Karen said in the Salter Theater. “That’s not the point…but please remember my words. There are certain things that you do that have no reverse button. Whatever the consequences are, you, your parents and your surroundings are going to have to deal with it.”
The foundation, in previous years, put on various events from a fashion shows to participation in all of the Every 15 Minutes Programs at our school; giving scholarships and having V-Club meetings throughout the school year. But for the past five years, the foundation’s main event is the Annual 5K Memorial Run/Walk with the intention of keeping the memory of Vahagn alive as well as bringing the community together. This event is always organized an conducted with the Beverly Hills Police Department and it’s Baker to Vegas relay team.
“This is about celebrating life; it’s not about sadness,” Karen said.
Service Learning has also made an effort to attract members from the community to support the foundation.
“The walk is about being together and appreciating life. It’s a day where you can walk with your friends and family, and really value what you have in life,” Service Learning chair Jonah Pourat said.
Those interested may either register for the run online or below the Beverly Hills Police Station, where the runners will all meet before the race begins. The annual run will take place on Sunday Dec. 4 where the registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the race will begin at 8:30.
“Even if one life is saved, this is all well worth it,” Karen said. “All I want you is to remember that there is one second, one moment, where you have to make a choice, just make the right one please.”