The Greek America Foundation announced Catherine Grosso of Chicago, IL and Melanie Graf of Boston, MA as this year’s Hellenic Legacy Scholars for study abroad.
Catherine is a senior Education major at North Park University in Chicago. She’s deeply passionate about her Hellenic roots, and has been involved in the community from a young age. In addition, Catherine plans to pursue a career in English as a Second Language teaching, helping future generations of new Americans pursue their dreams. She will attend a full semester at DEREE – The American College of Greece in Athens, for the 2011 spring semester.
As part of the Hellenic Legacy Scholarship, Catherine will assist in bringing the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society–an organization with which she has been an integral member since her youth– to the American College of Greece for a summer dance and music performance. Catherine is thrilled to embark on a semester deepening her knowledge of her ancestral culture and sharing her enthusiasm with her fellow students.
Melanie’s passion for Greece blossomed studying at the American College of Greece in the spring of 2010. Since returning, she’s been an active volunteer at the Greek Orthodox Metropolis’ Philoxenia House and has continued her study of Modern Greek. As a senior at Boston College studying International Relations and Ancient Civilizations, she’s anxious to complete her studies and return to Greece for what will be the Greek America Foundation’s first post-baccalaureate fellowship for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Melanie will take intensive Modern Greek language classes in Athens and participate in various internships at prominent institutions during her year in Greece.
Grosso recently arrived in Athens and shared her first impressions. Though she’s spent many summers in Greece, this trip is different. “We’d go to Athens just for one night and then go to our village,” she shared. Of 28 girls, she’s only one of two girls of Greek descent. “I’m the go-to person to help teach them about culture, words and things they need to know about Greece. Since I love Greece and its rich culture so much, I love to share everything I know about it with them!”
The fellowship program offers graduating seniors the opportunity to spend a year immersed in Modern Greek life and engaged in full-time language study while gaining valuable pre-professional experience through customized internships. The students will blog about their experiences. The Hellenic Legacy Fund is one of the signature projects of the Greek America Foundation.