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FAITH awards 2012 Ionian Village Scholarships

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Jun 8, 2012

NEW YORK – For the sixth year in a row, “FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism” will once again sponsor a series of financial aid scholarships this summer through its “Birthright Hellas” program to campers participating in the Ionian Village Summer Camp program. This summer, FAITH has awarded financial aid scholarships to 59 young people from all over the United States.

Ionian Village is the Summer Camping Ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.  The Mission of Ionian Village is to enrich the lives of its participants by bringing campers and staff into close contact with their Orthodox faith and Hellenic heritage. Ionian Village provides the opportunity for young people, ages 13-18, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to foster a life-long appreciation and love of Greece, Orthodoxy, and Hellenism.

This important mission is accomplished by providing a safe and fun environment in which campers and staff can fully immerse themselves into the rich Greek heritage, experience the vibrancy of our Greek Orthodox traditions, and learn to lead Christ-centered lives. Ionian Village participants travel across Greece, venerate the relics of the Saints, walk in the footsteps of the Apostles, and visit significant sites of Greek history and culture. At the end of each program, the campers, staff and clergy return home with strengthened faith, life-long friendships based on Christian love, and an expanded appreciation for the Orthodox Church and Greek culture.

“Ionian Village, as many people know, is a very special place. It is truly more than a summer camp, it is an experience that is life-transforming. Through the generous support and love of the Founders of FAITH, many young people who perhaps could not otherwise afford this experience are not able to. As we saw this year, we have recipients from each Metropolis of the Archdiocese, telling us what an amazing impact this grant continues to make in the life of our Archdiocese. This program is truly a great show of support for this amazing ministry, and a wonderful opportunity for these young campers” remarked Fr. Evagoras Constantinides, the Director of Ionian Village.

Mr. Peter T. Kikis, President of FAITH, added “We (the founders of Faith) are proud to support young people wishing to participate in Ionian Village, which is a truly transformative and enriching experience the intellectual and spiritual growth along with the friendships that take place as these young people connect to their Hellenic roots at Ionian Village are extraordinary. For over 40 years, Ionian Village has been and still is the premiere program for the young Greek Americans to understand their Hellenic heritage and identity and we are very pleased to offer this opportunity through our Birthright Hellas scholarship program.”

FAITH also has funded several scholarship programs including many merit-based scholarships for Academic Excellence to high school students graduating from public, parochial and private high schools across the country. The program, originally limited to valedictorians and salutatorians, has expanded to include students who display extraordinary academic achievement and an acute need for financial support for their studies. In past years, several graduating seniors received Faith Scholarships for Academic Excellence through the Archdiocese toward their college tuition. In addition, FAITH sponsors scholarships through the US – Greece Fulbright Foundation to support scholarly exchanges and international collaboration in education.

The core mission of FAITH is to support the development of innovative educational, cultural and scholarship programs for young people that promote excellence through an understanding of Hellenism, and its relationship to America’s history and multicultural landscape with programs such as funding Fulbright fellowships and other related programs. For more details about FAITH programs, please visit www.faithendowment.org.

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