Thank you!

Hi readers,

After nearly two years, I am finally writing a post to introduce myself and send out a thank you. When I started this blog, I wanted the focus to be on the stories I wanted to highlight – stories of how people in Greece were trying to improve their communities in different ways – not on me or my background.

I started this blog May 2010, in the midst of the “Greek crisis” (quotes because it is actually a European economic crisis), but it was not a response to all the crisis coverage. This blog is something I thought about for quite some time before I finally launched it. As a student and a young professional in the field of international affairs and development, I was interested in what young adults like me were doing in Greece. I wanted to know what programs and initiatives existed in Greece that would draw the interest of young adults looking to create global connections and better societies, and I wanted information in English that I could share with friends, colleagues and associates.

So I launched the blog simply as a young professional. In my original About Me, I described myself as “an early-career Greek-American who wants to connect my interests in my day job to my love of Greece. I work in an international non-profit organization based in Washington, DC and am interested in how women, youth, non-government organizations, businesses and other actors are finding innovative ways to make their communities better.”

Now I am introducing myself a bit more on my About page. Since the launch of the blog, my day job has changed. I wanted to use my experience to introduce new programs and new ways of interacting to the Greek-American community. I joined the team of The Next Generation Initiative (Hellenext) because I appreciated their approach for building a solid foundation for a dialogue with young adults: to begin by asking and understanding. Hellenext conducted a national online survey to give students a voice on how they connect to their heritage and what are their interests and needs. I joined their team to develop programs based on the results of the survey and other feedback from students and recent graduates – programs to help put young adults in the center of community engagement, within a network of leadership and mentorship connections.

So that is me.

Now I want to send a big THANK YOU to all the amazing people in Greece that began discussions with me because of this blog. You took the time to correspond with me via email or social media introductions, to share your experiences, describe your initiatives and discuss common interests.

These exchanges were an inspiration that helped me shape one of the programs I direct with Hellenext: the Reinventing Greece Media Project, a three-week fellowship in Greece, based on youth-led, solution-oriented journalism. This project was founded on a similar principle with the motivation behind this blog:

“This project was founded first and foremost on an effort to ask, listen and understand. Whatever we build together moving forward can only be built on this foundation of understanding and communication.”

The full message is here.

Traveling between cities to meet people. View from a bus.

 

I look forward to building stronger relationships with all the people in Greece that I have met through this blog, my role with the Reinventing Greece project, and other work, community and networking activities. I will continue my efforts to create more opportunities for all of us to deepen these connections, and keep expanding the network.

To everyone reading this blog, and everyone collaborating with others to have a positive impact on their community and beyond: thank you. Let’s keep connecting!

Aphrodite

 

Note: The views expressed on this blog are my own.

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