AHEPA Journey: Bridge to the Homeland

WASHINGTON, DC – The Order of AHEPA is now accepting applications for the 2014 session of its popular Journey-to-Greece program.

Ethnic groups in America, even the most successful ones, like the Greeks, have learned some important lessons the hard way. One is that it is not automatic that the descendants of immigrants will retain their fervor for the homeland and its language, especially when it is not spoken at home as intermarriage rates climb.

The Order of AHEPA is among the community groups that realized early on that there no substitute for imagination, hard work and proper resources when it comes to helping young Greek-Americans connect with Greece.

In 1968 AHEPA began the community’s first program of bringing Greek American youth to Greece in an effort to keep the young generation connected to Greece and their historical homeland.  Two years later, the Archdiocese’s Ionian Village was established.

Since 1968 AHEPA has sent over thousands of young people to Greece to provide an educational and cultural connection to Greece.

AHEPA has also partnered with many schools and the ministry of education to benefit their youth.  In 2003 the AHEPA Educational Foundation partnered with the University of Indianapolis (Athens Campus) to begin offering accredited educational opportunities with the yearly student excursion.  Since 2003 more than 200 students have transferred over 650 credits to schools in the United States.

According to AHEPA, its “Educational Foundation continues to increase the quality of the AHEPA Journey to Greece program, expanding its educational spectrum while maintaining or reducing the existing per student cost. The AHEPA Educational Foundation continues to award Journey to Greece stipends (scholarships) ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 in individual increments. The Journey to Greece is a beneficial program for our students and future leaders of Hellenism.”

For the 2014 summer schedule, the Journey-to-Greece (JTG) will offer two sessions (between two separate schools) consisting of three-to-four week programs for 80 young people. The programs will include visits guided by scholars to archeological sites and museums, and excursions to Sterea Ellas, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Macedonia, and the islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina.

This academic and cultural experience offers students the added advantage of being able to earn three to nine undergraduate college transfer credits.

This educational program, which combines educational activity with exposure to the culture, history and traditions of Greece, presents the treasures of their ethnic legacy to Greek-American youth.

The program also advances the broader mission of the AHEPA family, which is to promote the Ancient Greek ideals of philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism.

There are no restrictions on applicants who are interested in participating in  The Journey to Greece program, however, students must be college bound high school seniors or current college attendees in good standing.

Although the AHEPA Educational Foundation is not affiliated with the AHEPA Educational Foundation,

The University of Indianapolis supplies the facilities and is the managing partner of the program.  The academic services are provided through Webster College and The American College/Deree, which offer accredited university credit and operate in Athens.

Applications and a program description can be found at the AHEPA website at www.ahepa.org.