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Hellenic Birthright: 1st Week Reflections From Greece


Sponsored Students Reflect on Their First Week in Greece


On Monday, June 17, 2013, twenty young men and women began the journey of a lifetime as Hellenic Birthright sponsored students.  After settling in to their student housing in Thessaloniki, the participants attended Orientation on the beautiful Anatolia College campus, where they met various staff and faculty who will be assisting and instructing them over the duration of the program.  Anatolia College and their School of Higher Studies, the American College of Thessaloniki, have created a rigorous curriculum inter-weaving classroom instruction with on-site excursions to museums, archaeological sites, historically significant locations, and much more.


During their first week, Hellenic Birthright participants have already visited Agios Demetrios in Thessaloniki, the ancient site of Delphi, the ancient site of Vergina and the royal tombs, the Acropolis and award-winning Acropolis Museum, the ancient Athenian Agora, the markets of Monastiraki, and the cuisine of Arahova—blending perfectly the ancient and modern worlds.


Each week, our participants' personal journal entries are uploaded to our blog.  The first journal entries from the twenty students were received—and their response to seeing their ancestral homeland for the very first time can only be described as powerful, emotional, and inspiring. 


                        2013 Hellenic Birthright participants enjoying their 1st week in Greece


Though the young adults have only been in Greece for just about two weeks, the impact can already be felt in their moving entries.  Mark Bristol, a sophomore Screenwriting major at Emerson College wrote “Everyone should be given the chance to re-discover the roots of their ancestors. This has been an experience which has changed my view of me, my family, my culture, and the world as a whole significantly”…read more.


The group of eager students have already developed a sense of camaraderie and friendship that will remain long after the program has concluded—which will only help to reinforce their bond to Greece, their culture, and their families.  Demetria Hayman, a sophomore at the University of Vermont majoring in Political Science and History said In just one week, there have been thousands of pictures taken, gut-wrenching laughter with new friends, and twenty students' lives have changed”read more.


Stavros Victor, a Sophomore at California Polytechnic State University, like many of the selected participants, could not believe he was actually in Greece, “One week.  The length of one week is 7 days, or 168 hours, or 10,080 minutes.  In the time of this past week, I embarked on a journey that a selected handful of 20 Greek American students were presented with” read more.


To read the complete journal entries of our Hellenic Birthright participants, visit our new and improved blog.


Give a Student an Extraordinary Gift


The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation thanks all the Founding Sponsors, listed below, as well as all other  generous donors who have made Hellenic Birthright 2013 a reality, but we still need your help. 


For more information on how to help a Greek American college student see Greece for the very first time, consider becoming a Founding Sponsor today. Explore other levels of Donor Opportunities and become part of the movement that allows even more students to exercise their birth-given right.  You can make a secure donation online, or make a check payable to “PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation.”


Help us continue giving this life-changing gift to our Youth each and every year. 



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

Founding Sponsors ($5,000+)
Ms. Helen Tomaras-Astin (2012, 2013)
The Nicholas J. and Anna K. Bouras Foundation (2013)
The Violetta Kapsalis and Robert Andrew Buhler Family (2012)
In Memory of Christos Panos - Christ Panos Foods Corporation (2013)
Mr. Angelo Loukas (2013)
John and Mary Pappajohn Scholarship Foundation (2013)

In Memory of Our Father Yiannis Skarpathiotis  - Given by the Dr. George Skarpathiotis Family (2013)


Click here to view all Hellenic Birthright donors to date.