St. Photios National Shrine Announces 2022 Metropolitan Iakovos Memorial Greek Language Scholarship Essay Contest

February 24, 2022

Upon the recommendation of the Board of Trustees of The St. Photios Foundation Inc., and with the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, the St. Photos National Shrine is proud to announce the renaming of its Annual Greek Language Essay Contest to “The St. Photios National Shrine Metropolitan Iakovos Memorial Scholarship Essay Contest.” The Shrine is proud to announce the theme for this year’s annual Greek Language essay contest, reflecting on the welcoming of immigrants to this nation.  The St. Photios National Shrine commemorates the first Hellenic settlers to arrive in the New World, as well as celebrating the many immigrants to the United States and their experience in this nation.

Many of those immigrants came to America through Ellis Island in New York City and would have viewed the Statue of Liberty upon entering New York Harbor.  There, at the pedestal of Lady Liberty, is memorialized a plaque with the poem “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus, with the most famous line reading, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

Essay contest theme

In an essay, written in Greek, please discuss why or why not the lines from of the poem, “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus found at the Statue of Liberty in New York City are still relevant for our nation?


“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Essay contest details

  • Participants must be ages 13-19, and permanent residents of the United States of America or Canada.
  • Maximum word count: 1,000
  • A single essay will be selected as the winner by a committee and will receive a

$1,000 prize.

  • All participants will receive a certificate.
  • All essays become property of St. Photios Shrine and can be used for various

publicity purposes, always with the byline of the author.

Submit essays NO LATER THAN March 3, 2022 via email to: Polexeni Maouris Hillier, Executive Director of St. Photios National Shrine at phillier@stphotios.com Winner will be announced Friday, March 25, 2022.

 The 2022 Metropolitan Iakovos Memorial Greek Language Scholarship Essay Contest is made possible by the generosity of Stella Kokolis, M.Ed., President of the Federation of Hellenic American Educators


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