Service Learning Program

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Our volunteers organized beach excursions for the refugee children
Our volunteers organized numerous activities for the refugee children, including art and music classes.
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What is Service Learning?

Service Learning is a new initiative of the Greek America Foundation aiming to engage young college-aged North American students with volunteer programs in Greece.

Our program fulfills a dual purpose: students are immersed into contemporary Greek life while they simultaneously volunteer their time for important humanitarian causes and help to make a lasting impact.

Summer 2017 With Refugee Children in Greece

The inaugural Service Learning program took place in July 2017 in Athens, Greece, where we sent ten North American students to spend several weeks volunteering at shelters of The HOME Project, an organization founded to protect and care for unaccompanied refugee minors — children who have arrived in Greece from various conflict zones throughout the world and who are completely alone without families.

The students we selected were carefully screened and then interviewed, given the sensitivity of the project.

Over the course of the program, the volunteers participated in various projects related to both the physical needs of the shelters, as well as the emotional well-being of the refugee children inside them.

Read more about our 2017 program

Who Are We?

The Greek America Foundation is a non-profit corporation in the state of New York whose mission is to “preserve, perpetuate, and promote Greek culture and ideals.”

We accomplish this mission through three strategic programming areas: social and cultural events, academic programs, and charitable aid to Greece.

Our Chicago roots have allowed for a long and fruitful collaboration with the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago on programs advancing our shared missions, values and ideals.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @Greek America Foundation and Twitter @GreekAmerica to see updates on our 2018 Service Learning program!

Why Service Learning?

"I’m really grateful for this experience and I think that it’s helped guide me closer to what I might want to do going forward in my life."

Darden Livesay, 20, Wilton, Connecticut

"I think I learned from each individual that was here with us… just each person I’ve encountered here in Greece I’ve learned something from them — whether it’s about patience, just smiling at random strangers, kindness, just how to love people better in general."

Maria Gad, 21, Columbus, Ohio

"To see these kids go through these hardships and to see them with their head up and positive is a really nice positive reinforcement, and I’m just so happy to be involved with this program and I’m going to come back and try to help again."

Paul Grosso, 24, Chicago, Illinois

"I don’t think ‘grateful’ can put into words how much of an honor it is to have done this."

Vasiliki Radaios, 21, Chicago, Illinois

"I feel like I was able to make a very concrete contribution to The HOME Project in the time I was here, and it’s something I’ll remember for a long time."

Daniel Nikolaidis, 21, Detroit, Michigan

"The thing that I’ve taken away from this experience the most is that these kids are so capable — more capable than I would ever be at that age. That’s something incredible and something that should be rewarded and honored and looked at..."

Zoe Zacharopoulos, 19, Phoenix, Arizona

"I learned a lot from these kids. I learned that you can have nothing and still be very happy. I learned that not all is bad in this life, even coming from war-torn countries and countries with civil war you can still be happy and live a fulfilling life."

Stefanos Lazaridis, 23, Houston, Texas

"Overall, I would have to say it’s been a very enlightening experience. That seems to be the word that encapsulates it all because these kids have seen the worst in humanity, but they’re also perhaps the greatest example of the goodness of humanity because just the simplest things in life can make them so happy..."

Evgenia Mantikas, 20, Queens, New York

"I have never seen such an example of love in a time of sadness than when I was at the public market in Zoegrafou with my newest friend Homy, or Evgenia, or Michalis. I cannot forget what the farmers of the Zoegrafou area [in Athens] have done, not only for The HOME Project’s children, but for all of us."

Constantine Cesak, 23, Chicago, Illinois

"I feel like these kids are my equals and they’re frankly my friends, so I will never forget this experience.”

Katerina Busuttil, 18, Toronto, Canada

More news about our Service Learning and other academic programs

2017 Constantine and Patricia Mavroyannis Scholarship Recipients Announced

The Greek America Foundation is proud to announce the Constantine and Patricia Mavroyannis Scholarship recipients for 2017 are Eleana Makri of Wesleyan University, Georgios Stamokostas of the University of Texas at Austin, and Ioannis Tsiares of McGill University in Canada. All students are Greek nationals. Each student will receive an award of $5,000 to support […]

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2017 Summer Service Learning Program: A Life Changing Experience

This summer, ten North American students were sent by the Greek America Foundation to spend several weeks in Athens, volunteering at shelters of The Home Project, an organization founded to protect and care for unaccompanied refugee minors— children who have arrived in Greece from various conflict zones throughout the world and who are alone and […]

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Service Learning Program Volunteers Meet U.S. Ambassador in Athens

The Greek America Foundation’s Service Learning program volunteers visited United States Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 to discuss their work with unaccompanied refugee minors as well as other contemporary issues facing Greece. The nine American and one Canadian students have now spent a week and a half volunteering at shelters […]

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2017 Summer Service Learning in Athens for College Students

Service Learning is a new initiative of the Greek America Foundation aiming to engage North American university students with volunteer programs in Greece.  Our program fulfills a dual purpose. First, students are immersed into contemporary Greek life, while simultaneously volunteering for important humanitarian relief programs and helping to make a lasting impact on contemporary problems […]

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Call for Applicants for the Constantine and Patricia Mavroyannis Scholarship in Theoretical Physics

The Greek America Foundation is proud to announce that the Constantine and Patricia Mavroyannis Scholarship will be offered for the 2017-2018 academic year for the fifth consecutive year. The scholarship is open to Greek and Greek heritage university graduate students studying for a PhD in either theoretical physics or physical chemistry. Since its inception the […]

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Peter and Danialle Karmanos $200,000 Gift to Greek America Foundation

Peter and Danialle Karmanos of Detroit announced a $200,000 gift to the Greek America Foundation— specifically, to the Hellenic Legacy Scholarship Endowment Fund, which sends North American college students to Greece for a semester of study at the American College of Greece in Athens. The gift will endow, in perpetuity, the Peter and Danialle Karmanos […]

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2016 Constantine and Patricia Mavroyannis Scholarship Recipients

The Greek America Foundation is proud to announce the Constantine and Patricia Mavroyannis Scholarship recipients for 2016 are Stathis Megas of University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) and Anna-Maria Taki of New York University. Both students are Greek nationals. Each student will receive an award of $5,000 to support doctoral research in theoretical physics for the […]