Upper Darby, PA – “If you want to go fast – go alone. If you want to go far – take others,” said Catherine Avgeris, the keynote speaker and recently retired CFO of Comcast. Avgeris addressed the guests, parents, and students at the first ever Educational Guidance Program (EGP) sponsored by nonprofit Hellenic Hearts organization. The inspiring comment brought a hearty applause from the crowd and is arguably a motto that will come to represent Hellenic Hearts.

This past Saturday, April 22, Hellenic Hearts kicked off one of its cornerstone initiatives, the Educational Guidance Program (EGP). Led by one of Hellenic Hearts’ Board Members and Director of Education, Louie Karapanagiotides, and the EGP executive board, consisting of Pauline Toboulidis, Chris Voutsakis, and Hope Pappas. The EGP Inaugural Mentoring Event was a great success with over 100 parents and students, 30 advisers, three panelists from a few of the top Philadelphia and surrounding area universities, and the keynote speech by Catherine Avgiris.

The overlying mission of EGP is to provide education-to-career guidance to Hellenic-American youth with the goal of promoting higher education and increasing professional success. EGP strives to make the collective experience and resources of the Hellenic-American community accessible to its youth and to create an environment that builds confidence so that the Hellenic-American youth may reach whatever academic and professional goals they desire, regardless of their financial means or education levels. But more simply put, EGP wants to remove all obstacles from impeding the Hellenic-American youth from thriving in their futures.

The event’s activities included opening remarks from Hellenic Hearts’ board members, John Aivazoglou, Tim Vlassopoulos, Nick Karalis, and Louie Karapanagiotides. Students took part in six 20-minute one-on-one mentoring sessions with EGP advisers from all different backgrounds, educations, and professions to explore all potential future opportunities. Discussion topics included (but not limited to) college selection, admissions process, study habits, career/major, discussions, and extracurriculars. In addition to how best to prepare for high school and beyond, etc. Parents were treated to two separate College discussion panels.

Representatives from the admission offices of Temple University, Saint Joseph’s University, and Hellenic College Holy Cross held an hour-long question and answer session in which parents could address any and all questions or concerns as it relates to their children’s higher education options and process.

An admissions officer from Saint Joseph’s provided an in-depth presentation around financial aid to help ease the process for all parents and to inform them that many options exist to ensure their children can get a great education without being tied to a loan for the rest of their lives. The afternoon featured a motivational keynote speech by former Comcast CFO Cathy Avgiris.

In addition to EPG, Hellenic Hearts also sponsors the “Hellenic Hearts’ Class of 2017” in which rising Juniors and Seniors in High School can apply and receive FREE SAT Tutoring (provided by Princeton Review) and take part in professionalism programs and community initiatives. Moving forward, Hellenic Hearts’ EGP will be holding professionalism workshops, providing college scholarships, and offering internship opportunities to those that are involved in the program.

For more information or for those interested in getting involved with the Hellenic Hearts organization, check out their website at www.HellenicHearts.org.