Recently the United Greek Americans (UGA), a community that unites Hellenic Youth from around the world, announced the winners of the Eva Dossa Scholarship and 24- year- old Giannis Papadimas was one of the recipients.
The Eva Dossa Scholarship is a scholarship for Greek-American students that are enrolled in a higher education system. It is named in honour of the organisations founder Deano Kastis’ grandmother, who has been a constant force in education and self-determination. Eva Dossa has made many sacrifices towards her family, in order to see them succeed, prosper, and contribute to the community.
GCT recently had the opportunity to chat with Giannis about his Greek heritage and the scholarship.
Giannis was born in Xolargos, Greece and says his Greek culture “is the most important thing that I have in my life. I was able to learn about our history and the importance that Greeks played throughout the years, I was able to witness the Olympic Games taking place in their motherland in 2004, and above all, I was able to understand why Greece is the most beautiful place in the world by exploring some of the islands.”
The young man studied Civil and Environmental Engineering as an undergraduate. Then, he decided to further his studies at a graduate level and is now studying as an Environmental Engineer at Old Dominion University.
He became involved with UGA in 2017, when he went to an event hosted by UGA in Clearwater, which his two best friends Yianni Karangelen (Mr. UGA) and Evan Katsanos convinced him to go to, especially since he had just graduated college that year.
“My Greek-American Heritage plays an important role in my everyday life. Coming from Greece, I have realised that the community is really close to their Greek heritage. They tend to organise events for our Independence Day, such as having a Greek Parade. They celebrate all the name days. They celebrate Easter throughout all 40 days. Above all, they like to dance the traditional songs from all over Greece,” Giannis said.
“Overall, the Greek culture in America is really advanced,” Giannis notes. “Many people go to church on Sundays, they learn how to dance all the traditional dances from all over Greece, and they keep the same traditions as we keep in Greece.” He continued to say that there is something he would like to change, “I would like to make sure that people in the Southern States would speak the Greek language more and more in their everyday life. Unlike the Northern States, people from the South tend to speak more English than Greek.”
Giannis believes that he is probably the Greekest person you will ever meet. So, on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the least and 10 being the most), he would say he is a 15 out of 10.
“The reason behind it has to do with the fact that I was not born in this country. I was blessed to be born and raised in Athens. Also, I tend to have a very thick accent that most of the people in the United States cannot understand most of the times.”
Having a bright future ahead, Giannis plans to ‘carry the torch’ to the future generations by “making sure that they are involved in the Greek community. I would like them to join the Greek Organization Youth of America (Goya), I would like them to attend Greek school, be a part of the dance group that each church offers, and make sure that they attend Church every Sunday because it plays an important role for our religion.”