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Hellenic Birthright 2015 Concludes - A life-changing experience for all


On July 19, 2015, our Hellenic Birthright participants began their journeys back to the States upon completing our cultural enrichment and educational program, Hellenic Birthright. This program allowed them to visit some of Greece's most prominent cities and sites, in conjunction with receiving 3 transferable college credits. In our ongoing blog, students noted the wondrous scenery, the Greek food, and their emotional reactions to their ancestral homeland. Their countless experiences have allowed them to feel compassion and a sense of belonging to a country they can now call their own.  From the sight of the Parthenon to walking the streets of Athens, students marveled at their experience because it was, as many of the students described, “surreal.”   


Maria Arianas states, “How amazing is it that the Parthenon still has so much of the original building standing after all the time and history it has gone through, including conversion into different places of worship and being bombed several times over the years. Its resilience emulates that of Greeks in that no matter what has happened to that nation over the course of history, Greek people and culture have always prevailed.”

“For the first time in my life I am experiencing firsthand the homeland of my yiayia and papou.  It took about 2-3 days to sink in for me that I am actually here.  It has been amazing to just walk around the city and explore everything that I possibly can.  In 3 days, I had been everywhere from the White Tower to a concert on top of the castle at the city walls at night, and I even got to attend an Orthodox Church service…In Greece!!!  It's hard to explain the beauty here in Thessaloniki, and pictures don't do it justice.  I am so thankful that I am here getting this absolutely incredible experience,” exclaims Jacob Gaetanos.


With the immeasurable support of our benefactors, the Foundation has managed to grant these students an opportunity of a lifetime.  “This experience is more than just an educational awakening for our participants—it is a homecoming of sorts. Each young Greek-American student has developed a newfound love for Greece, the culture and heritage.  Every year we see the profound impact this program has had on our youth, and we look forward to offering this life-changing opportunity to more of our youth in the future,” said founder and Chairman, Chris Tomaras.


Please visit our blog to read more about this life-changing experience from our students!


We would like to thank the following donors for making this journey possible:

Premier Founding Sponsors: $25,000+
Stavros Niarchos Foundation (2012)
Mr. Chris P. Tomaras (2012, 2013, 2015)

Founding Sponsors: $5,000+
Mrs. Roula Alakiotou (2015)
Mr. & Mrs. Ted Argeroplos (2015)
Ms. Helen Tomaras-Astin (2012, 2013, 2015)
The Nicholas J. and Anna K. Bouras Foundation (2013)
The Violetta Kapsalis and Robert Andrew Buhler Family (2012, 2013)
Tassos F. Chronopoulos Family (2015)
Mr. Angelo Loukas (2013)
John and Mary Pappajohn Scholarship Foundation (2013)
In Memory of Yiannis Skarpathiotis - Given by Dr. George Skarpathiotis Family (2013)

Preserving Sponsors: $2,500+
TGS EPSILON INC. - Mrs. Erika Spyropoulos

Sustaining Sponsors: $1,000+
Helen Abadji & Theodore Vakrinos
Mr. Gregory Skarantavos

Supporting Sponsors: Under $1,000
Mrs. Helen C. Bekrakis
Miltiades Bolaris Family
Ms. Vassia Doumas
Mr. & Mrs. Kimon Proussaloglou
Poulos & Bayer C.P.A.
Elena and Anthony Poulos
Psistaria Greek Taverna
Michelle & Petritt Sakolari
Sokratis & Erasmia Sukru
Fr. & Presvetera Demetrios N. Treantafeles
Mr. Angelo Velliotis
Ms. Dorothea K. Zikos