Hellenic Birthright 2013 Concludes
Twenty Sponsored Students say "Thank You"
From June 17 through July 22, 2013, the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation was proud to offer for a second consecutive year its Hellenic Birthright program - a five-week educational and cultural enrichment experience for Greek American college students who have never been to Greece. The Foundation was able to send twenty students to Greece for a total cost of $100,000 in order to exercise their birth-given right and thus experience the magnificence of Greece. This would not have been possible without the generous support of our Community and faithful donors.
Hellenic Birthright was again offered in collaboration with our partners at Anatolia College and their School of Higher Studies, The American College of Thessaloniki. The twenty lucky applicants who were selected from across the United States not only experienced the trip of a lifetime, but created memories and friendships which they will cherish forever. In addition to visiting countless cities and archaeological sites across 2 continents, the students also received up to 4 transferable college credits through two courses, which included "The World of Alexander The Great" and an "Art History Museum Practicum". The classes were taught by highly qualified faculty on the beautiful Anatolia College campus in Thessaloniki.
For many of our sponsored students, it was the very first time they had ever left the United States and traveled so far away from "home". However, as they returned to the States one by one, following the completion of the program, it was apparent that they now considered Greece their newly discovered "home". This is exactly why the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation and its Chairman, Chris P. Tomaras, wanted to create a program which gave Greek Americans the opportunity to visit their ancestral homeland and appreciate and absorb first hand all that Greece has to offer.
The 2013 Hellenic Birthright itinerary included Thessaloniki, Pella, Vergina, Delphi, Athens, Thebes, Dion, Olynthus, and Philippi, among many others. However, the most memorable highlight was the trip to Constantinople and a private meeting with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Carlyn Loutos, a Broadcast Journalism major at the University of Central Florida, said "Meeting His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew was an experience I will never forget. It was so humbling being able to stand in his presence. What an absolutely incredible and inspiring human being. It made me so grateful for the religion and culture that I am blessed to have and know."
Mark Bristol, a Sophomore at Emerson College majoring in Screenwriting said "This has been the most amazing five weeks of my life, and I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world. I owe it all to the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation and The American College of Thessaloniki for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I have never been so proud to be Greek. Aντίο Ελλάδα, αγάπη μου." To read the complete journal entries of all our Hellenic Birthright sponsored students, please visit our new blog.
Through the generosity of our supporters and donors like you, the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation can continue offering these amazing opportunities to the young men and women of our Greek American Community.