The story behind a donation made in the loving memory of Tania Voutopoulou.
What is your connection with Pierce and in particular with the East Campus in Spata?
My daughter, Nefeli Giannopoulou, attended the Fifth Grade during the first school year of East Campus!
What piqued your interest in the “Take-a-Seat” campaign, and why did you decide to participate?
My first thought was that we have taken so much from this excellent school and so I would like to contribute to the “Take-a-Seat!” Campaign, as a minimum token of recognition of this important support we received.
In contemplating whose name to place on the inscription, my thoughts naturally turned to my late mother, whom we tragically lost in 2014. She passed away suddenly and violently on March 27, 2014, leaving us all in immense grief and unbearable pain. Characteristically, my eldest daughter, Alexandra, who was 8 years old at the time, could not understand how she could not see her grandmother again, especially since she had said goodbye to her in the afternoon of the same day, telling her “I will see you tomorrow morning, Go willing”. I explained to her what “God willing” means and how everything in life can change from one moment to the next. My little daughter, Nefeli, who was only 20 months old at the time, waited for her grandmother to come and play for many months after the tragic event. Every time the doorbell rang, she would pop up and shout “Grandma!” and when someone else entered the house, she would be disappointed. The reason we saw my mother daily at that time is because Nefeli had cancer, preventing her from attending school, so my mother would take care of her while I was at work.
The subsequent period was exceptionally challenging, compounded by the departure of my husband, leaving me to single-handedly care for two children under strenuous conditions. Alexandra had fallen into deep grief, so I tried not to cry in front of her. I had to be strong for my children, I couldn’t afford to mourn my mother and that, I admit, cost me so much.
In 2017, when Alexandra reached the age to go to secondary school, I felt the urgency to secure her admission to a reputable institution, because I felt that I would not be able to be next to my children for much longer. My strength was abandoning me, and I wanted to find a way to offer the best education and supplies for the future, for at least one of my children. We applied for the Pierce entrance exam and a scholarship, since I could not afford to pay the tuition. She passed the exams but unfortunately did not get a scholarship. Then I applied for financial aid and to my surprise, we received a 45% discount on tuition. But I still couldn’t afford to pay the rest of the tuition, since my only income was my salary and I had to take care of the needs of 3 people. Determined to fulfill my commitment to my daughter’s education, I decided to sell my mother’s old cottage. Through a combination of this sale and the generous discount, we managed to cover the tuition for the following years. So, it happened! I indirectly owe my mother the fact that Alexandra managed to study at Pierce. This year she graduated from High School with honors! Nefeli has been following since this year, already in elementary school, and I hope that she will be able to find her way through her course at Pierce. Because Pierce is much more than a school.
We, who have belonged to this family for many years now, know it very well!
How do you envision the stadium five years from now and how do you hope your donation will have contributed?
I am sure that it will become a modern stadium where activities of our school, and not only, will be hosted! And our donation will have contributed to the spirit of giving that our school promotes, as the basis of its philosophy!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!