Panagiotis Koutsoukos, the distinguished student of Boston University, who received the scholarship from The National Herald during the dinner for the Greek Independence Day of March 25th in Boston. Photo provided by Panagiotis Koutsoukos
BOSTON – Panagiotis Koutsoukos, the smart, multilingual, and talented Greek young man, an outstanding student at Boston University, simultaneously pursuing two majors in Physics and Computer Science, was awarded The National Herald scholarship during the event and dinner celebrating Greek Independence Day of March 25 in Boston.
In our conversation with him, he expressed his gratitude, saying, “Receiving The National Herald scholarship deeply moves me and fills me with immense gratitude for this honorable award. Obtaining this prestigious distinction makes me feel proud, and I thank The National Herald for recognizing my academic achievements throughout my journey in school and university.”
Wanting to get to know him better, we asked him to talk to us about his background, his family, and his roots. He told us, “I come from the Peloponnese and Macedonia.
My familial roots trace back to Arcadia, Megalopoli, where my grandfather grew up, and Thessaloniki, the birthplace of my grandmother. My parents pursued their studies and careers in the United States, and I had the privilege of growing up in Thessaloniki alongside my two older sisters. Additionally, I was fortunate to frequently visit my grandfather’s village in Arcadia, maintaining a strong connection to this part of my heritage. Both of my sisters have now completed their undergraduate and graduate studies in the United States, and we currently reside together in Boston.”
Regarding his studies at Boston University, he said “I am pleased to share that my studies at Boston University have been highly rewarding. Having recently completed my fourth semester, I take great pride in my consistent and commendable academic achievements during the past two years. I firmly believe that true success stems from a genuine passion for one’s chosen path, which is why I am delighted to be pursuing Physics and Computer Science, subjects that I am deeply passionate about and find captivating.”
To the question of what attracted him to the fields of Physics and Computer Science, he said, “Through my extensive exploration of various scientific disciplines, I have discovered a profound personal inclination and passion for the realms of Physics and Computer Science. The captivating coexistence of abstract and theoretical concepts inherent to these disciplines has deeply intrigued me. Moreover, I have come to recognize the immense practical applications they hold in our rapidly evolving world, offering potential solutions to a multitude of global challenges. As I embark on my journey as a rising junior, I am resolute in my decision to further immerse myself in these two sciences. I eagerly anticipate the upcoming two years, during which I am enthusiastic to enroll in advanced and demanding courses that will significantly expand my knowledge within these fields.”
As to why he came to the U.S. for studies, he said, “As I mentioned earlier, my family shares a strong and enduring connection with the United States. Both of my parents, as well as my two sisters, have lived, studied, and worked here. Given this background, the decision to pursue my studies in the United States was a natural one. However, beyond familial ties, I made this choice based on my firm belief in the exceptional educational institutions available in this country. These institutions offer me the chance to fully explore my academic and social interests while opening up abundant career prospects and enriching life experiences. The United States, with its renowned educational landscape, presents a remarkable opportunity for personal and intellectual growth, aligning perfectly with my aspirations and ambitions.”
Asked if there are prospects for studies and advancement for the young men and women in Greece today, Panagiotis said, “As you may know, Greece has faced significant economic challenges in the past decade, leading to expenditure cuts, wage reductions, and limited economic growth. Consequently, many young Greek professionals across various fields turned to other countries abroad in search of opportunities, a phenomenon commonly known as ‘brain drain’. However, in recent years, the country’s economic indicators have shown satisfactory growth rates, increased wages, and impressive investments, resulting in the creation of new job opportunities and a phenomenon referred to as ‘brain gain’. Taking into account other factors such as the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, it appears that Greece, despite the difficulties, is starting to recover. Therefore, I believe that Greece nowadays presents promising prospects for progress for young individuals, provided that it continues on this trajectory.”
As for the Greek American Community, he believes that it “constitutes a highly significant support system for Greece, particularly in recent years when the demands and challenges facing Greece have intensified.”
Some of the most essential things in life for Panagiotis are “knowledge and education, a balanced life, and communication with people. Knowledge and education fuel my continuous quest for learning, keeping me humble as I realize the vastness of what I don’t know. Maintaining a balanced life enables me to find harmony among school, relationships, health, and leisure, fostering overall well-being and fulfillment. Meaningful communication with others allows for the exchange of ideas, perspectives, and experiences, nurturing connections and contributing to personal growth and societal progress. Embracing these values empowers me to live purposefully and make meaningful contributions to the world.”
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