Creative icon Walt Disney once said: “all our dreams come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” An individual who embodies this quotation is Kosta Demopoulos, an outstanding student, 2011 Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund recipient, and overall, an inspirational Greek-American youth.
A senior at Randolph High School, New Jersery, Kosta Demopoulos will be graduating this year with his high school diploma, and will be enrolling at the Fordham University Rose Hill campus in pursuit of a degree in business, with a concentration in accounting and marketing.
Serving in the capacity of senior class president in his high school, Demopoulos has sharpened his interpersonal skills, as well as gained a substantial amount of experience in event planning, organization and leadership.
Demopoulos’ greatest influences in life are his supportive parents, especially his father. “My father has taught me a range of values and how to apply them in my life, which goes back to his childhood,” says Demopoulos.
Both of his parents were born in Greece, making him a first generation Greek-American.
“My father’s sense of hard work is instilled in myself and my siblings, which has played a vital role in all of my accomplishments today. My father’s motto was to ‘always work hard in everything you do in life,’ as well as to ‘stay humble,'” Demopoulos adds.
Demopoulos’ maternal grandparents are from Volos and the Greek island of Kos, while his paternal grandparents are from the mountain villages of Krokilio and Alpohori, which is situated an hour and a half northeast from Nafpaktos. In addition to his academic endeavors, Demopoulos enrolled in Greek school for six years, as well as took Greek dancing classes. On Greek culture, “I love the food and the family aspect to it,” remarks Demopoulos. “They usually go together, which is why I appreciate them even more. I love the fact that I have a big family that genuinely loves each other, and they are so close together. I am a big fan of my grandmother’s traditional Greek cooking,” he adds.
On pursuing a career in the field of business and marketing, Demopoulos states: “I have a lot of interests namely politics, communications, business, and law. In anything that I do in life, business is a medium of social control that truly affects us all, so I would like to be involved in it, in one way or another.”
One of the challenges that Demopoulos faces often involves dealing with a lot of negative forces. In an effort to overcome this obstacle, he looks for support in his family and God. “I always stay true to myself. At the end of the day, I cannot let others sway me from my goals and my path of desire.”
One of Demopoulos’ proudest accomplishments was receiving the rank of “eagle” in Boys Scouts after twelve years of dedication. “In order to achieve the rank of eagle, I had to do an eagle project. Every Greek-American in my community had their input on it. My project was to beautify the Social Hall of my church. I was responsible for organizing, planning and carrying out the project. This project took 26 days, 50 volunteers and approximately 550 hours to fulfill.”
On being the recipient of the $20,000 Hellenic Times scholarship this year, Demopoulos remarks “not only was it an honor to receive this very competitive scholarship, but to have the confidence and support of the Hellenic Times is truly remarkable; furthermore, it has given me the motivation to do bigger and better things.”
Demopoulos shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon! He is planning his high school’s Prom which is slated to take place on a boat, making it the first ‘boat prom’ in his high school’s history. “We will take fifteen party buses from my high school to the Hoboken port and tour Manhattan, and return the same night,” he reveals.
His future plans are to someday enroll in law school, and perhaps enter the field of politics. “I would like to run for president of the United States in 2036, when I will be eligible to do so [age-wise]. If that fails, I could pursue my other interests such as communications, acting, business, entrepreneurship, among others,” says Demopoulos.
For the Greek-American youth who wish to pursue a career in business, Demopoulos recommends they “stay connected with the other Greek-Americans, and other people that wish to help you; moreover, take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to you!”
In regard to the Greek-American community, Kosta Demopoulos concludes “I live in a very-close knit Greek-American community in New Jersey. The friends that I created in church, I’ll have for the rest of my life. The community has done so much for me, which is why I decided to do my ‘eagle’ project for Boy Scouts, in order to give something back. It’s a dynamic community that I’ll always stay connected with, as well my family, and my future family. The Greek-American community truly embraced me this past weekend at the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund (HTSF) GALA, which was a real heart-warming experience.”