ASTORIA – Greek-American teenager Despina Anastasiou of Astoria was honored by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York (GSGNY) for her leadership and community service efforts, Astoria Post reported. Anastasiou is also the reigning Miss Greek Independence 2020, crowned in March by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York at the Stathakion Center before the lockdown went into effect.
Anastasiou received the 2020 Future Woman of Distinction award and was “recognized alongside eight other young women at the GSGNY’s 28th annual Women of Distinction week-long virtual event this month,” Astoria Post reported.
“Girl Scouts of Greater New York is proud to name Despina Anastasiou our 2020 Future Woman of Distinction, honoring her as a role model for younger Girl Scouts and all New Yorkers,” said Meridith Maskara, CEO of GSGNY, Astoria Post reported, “Despina has demonstrated a strong commitment to community service, repeatedly using her leadership skills to take action and make a positive impact in the world.”
“The 17-year-old senior at Dominican Academy High School, a Catholic school in Manhattan, has been a member of the Girl Scouts for 13 years and won the award for her community service in the dance field,” Astoria Post reported.
Anastasiou “started an initiative called ‘We Can All Dance’ for the Girl Scouts Gold Award Project that brings the joy of dancing to all children regardless of their ability,” Astoria Post reported, adding that “the teen teaches dance to children with physical and mental disabilities each week through an organization called Dancing Dreams.”
Anastasiou “also began collecting dance costumes to send to girls in developing countries as part of the project,” Astoria Post reported, noting that “she collected nearly 140 costumes and donated them to an organization called Traveling Tutus which sent the costumes to girls in countries throughout Africa.”
Anastasiou “credits the Girl Scouts for inspiring her to help others,” Astoria Post reported.
“Girl Scouting has been enormously influential on my character, and on how I perceive myself and the world around me,” she told Astoria Post, adding that “over the years, Girl Scouts instilled a confidence within me that enabled me to go out and achieve my goals, and always gave me role models to show me what is possible, especially in male-dominated fields.”
Anastasiou plans to study international relations on a pre-law track when she begins college next year, Astoria Post reported.