The New York-based Greek America Foundation opened applications for its annual Greek America Corps volunteer program which sends U.S. and Canadian young adults to Greece to volunteer with local charities serving vulnerable populations.
Since summer 2017, the program has sent nearly 60 students and young professionals to offer their time and talents to humanitarian causes while immersing themselves in modern Greek culture and society.
The foundation has planned four separate three-week programs for summer 2022, including two in Athens, one on the island of Chios and one in Thessaloniki. Programs serve vulnerable population groups, including homeless people, unaccompanied refugee minors and disenfranchised youth.
Up to 40 volunteer spots are available. Full scholarships that cover all program costs (excluding airfare) are available for applicants with financial need and the target age of participants is between 18 and 25 years old.
For U.S./Canadian college students, an option to receive three college credits is available via the Hellenic American University in Athens, a U.S.-accredited institution of higher learning. The university allows credits to be transferred back to the student’s home institution.
The Greek America Foundation shared a video recap of its 2021 programs in which participants spoke about their experiences.
“This experience is something that very, very few people could ever dream to talk about or to experience,” George, a volunteer from Queens, New York, said.
“[This program] even made me reconsider my career path… Just the thought that such a short program could do something like that I guess really shows the impact of what we’re doing here,” Anthony, a volunteer from Columbia, Maryland, said.
“It’s also taught me that you can do a lot even if you have a little. You can show somebody that their life is worth something and that they matter with things like empathy, kindness and compassion,” Veronica, a volunteer from Sacramento, California, said.