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FAITH Endowment Awards 2013 Financial Aid Scholarships

By on September 7, 2013

Jumping students

For the seventh consecutive year, “FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism” sponsored a series of financial aid scholarships this summer through its “FAITH Birthright Hellas” program to campers participating in the Ionian Village Summer Camp program. FAITH awarded financial aid scholarships to 46 young people from all over the United States.

Ionian Village is the Summer Camping Ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The mission of Ionian Village is to enrich the lives of its participants by bringing campers into close contact with their Orthodox faith and Hellenic heritage. Ionian Village has been providing the opportunity for young people, ages 13-18, of the Greek Orthodox faith to foster a life-long appreciation and love of Greece, Orthodoxy, and Hellenism.

[sws_pullquote_left] The program has expanded to include students who display extraordinary academic achievement and an acute need for financial support for their studies as well as students who wish to pursue their studies in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). [/sws_pullquote_left] Through daily programs and fieldtrips, campers have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves and experience the vibrancy of their rich Hellenic heritage and Greek Orthodox faith. Ionian Village participants travel across Greece, venerate the relics of the Saints, walk in the footsteps of the Apostles, and visit significant sites of Greek history and culture. At the end of each program, the campers, staff and clergy return home with strengthened faith, life-long friendships, and an expanded knowledge of their tradition.

Elaine Jaharis, a Founder of the Faith Endowment, Ionian Village Alumna and Chair of the Birthright Hellas Committee spoke on behalf of the Founders: “We are proud to support young people wishing to participate in Ionian Village. The camp provides a truly transformative and enriching experience for intellectual and spiritual growth as well as forming life long friendships as these young people connect to their Hellenic roots. For over 40 years, Ionian Village has been and still is the premiere program for the young Greek Americans to understand their Hellenic heritage and identity and we are very pleased to offer this opportunity through our Birthright Hellas scholarship program.”

“Ionian Village is a very special place. It is truly more than a summer camp. It is an experience that is life-transforming. Through the generous support and love of the founders of FAITH, many young people who perhaps could not otherwise afford this experience are now able to. As we saw this year, we have recipients from each Metropolis of the Archdiocese, telling us what an amazing impact this grant continues to make in the life of our Archdiocese. This program is truly a great show of support for this amazing ministry, and a wonderful opportunity for these young campers,” remarked Fr. Evagoras Constantinides, Director of Ionian Village. Another grant from FAITH has funded the much-need complete renovation of the camp’s Pool.

The core mission of FAITH is to support the development of innovative educational, cultural and scholarship programs for young people that promote excellence through an understanding of Hellenism, and its relationship to America’s history and multicultural landscape. Each year, the organization funds a series of several scholarship programs including many merit-based scholarships to high school students graduating from public, parochial and private institutions across the country.

The program, originally limited to valedictorians and salutatorians, has expanded to include students who display extraordinary academic achievement and an acute need for financial support for their studies as well as students who wish to pursue their studies in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). In past years, several graduating seniors received Faith Scholarships for Academic Excellence through the Archdiocese toward their college tuition. In addition, FAITH sponsors scholarships through the US – Greece Fulbright Foundation to support scholarly exchanges and international collaboration in education. “The future of the US economy is dependent on STEM subject knowledge and mastery by our students. I know they will meet this challenge. The founders of Faith are very pleased to support this important initiative and also support the best and brightest young people of our community,” said FAITH Founder Dr. P. Roy Vagelos.

For more information and application materials, about the Faith Scholarships for Academic Scholarships, their website is www.faithendowment.org.

A few years ago, a group of prominent Greek American leaders and philanthropists representing a diversity of professional fields founded “Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism” as a response to a challenge issued by Archbishop Demetrios. The core mission of this endowment is to promote Hellenism and an understanding of the Greek Orthodox faith through a series of high quality innovative educational programs and cultural initiatives through an endowment to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

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