Greek American & Greek Heritage Greece Participants
There is nothing more satisfying, and in this case heartwarming, than seeing theory turn into reality. Fifteen young Greek Americans gathered in New York as strangers and within a matter of minutes bonded creating lifelong friendships--connecting with one another through a common bond they share--their Greek heritage!
The Heritage Greece Program is a collaboration between NHS and the American College of Greece (ACG)--Europe's oldest and largest American-styled university. NHS had a daunting task of choosing 15 student participants from a slate of over 40 qualified ndidates and a pool of over 70 students expressing interest in the Heritage Greece Program.
Heritage Greece is a gift from the NHS to these 15 students that travel to Greece to participate in a two-week intensive and fun cultural Odyssey. The Greek American students will share their experiences with a peer group of 7 Greek students that live, learn, have fun and celebrate their Greek heritage together. All students receive three college credits applicable towards fulfilling their degree requirements.
The young Greek Americans are from as far as Alaska and California, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, Texas to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. They attend top universities and have an average GPA of 3.7--moreover, the 15 recognize the importance of their Greek identity.
Heritage Greece Participants Meet in NY
NHS Executive Director, Tim Maniatis and Program Coordinator, Art Dimopoulos met the Heritage Greece participants in NY where they registered, where given an NHS gift bag and useful gifts then enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a Greek restaurant in Bayside, NY with several parents that were literally besides themselves in watching how quickly the students bonded.
The following morning the students attended orientation with ACG President, David Horner, who arrived from Boston to welcome the Heritage Greece participants. Eve Geroulis, ACG's U.S.-based representative and NHS' Art Dimopoulos also participated in the orientation. Art provided background NHS, our vision, programs and the role that these 15 pioneers play in the Heritage Greece Program.
ACG President, David Horner at Heritage Greece Orientation
That afternoon, the Heritage Greece participants flew on to Greece arrived at the ACG campus where they are warmly welcomed, and accomodated in modern apartments that housed the U.S. Olympic Team in 2004. They met their Greek peers and in the morning left together for a fun-filled excursion to Mykonos and an educational jaunt to the isle of Delos, home of the 5th Century BC Delian League where they were given a personal tour.
The Bonds of Heritage
Heritage Greece Day Trip to Delos
Heritage Greece Girls Enjoying the Cyclades
Modern Greek Gods
One ACG staffer commented that she was so moved by how well Heritage Greece is unfolding that she will set-aside money from her own salary to help sponsor a student next year!
NHS has made a big difference in the lives of these 15 students as well as in the lives of the Greek peers thanks to the generous support and work of NHS dedicated members. The vision has become reality and next year Heritage Greece will grow and touch the lives of even more young Greek Americans. They are well worth the investment!
Heritage Greece Participants in Chora, Mykonos