The American College of Greece, along with the Ministry of Education, Culture & Religious Affairs, was one of the organizers, of the first World Speech Day, an inspiring event that took place on March 15, 2016, at the National University of Athens. The WSD event in Greece was supported by the International New York Times, Kathimerini, and Skai.
World Speech Day (WSD) was a global celebration, where young people, through different events held in a number of cities across the world, shared their ideas and brought to life the power of speech and speech-making. The non-profit organization of WSD, was founded on the belief that speeches can change the world. On the theme set for this year’s event, “Thoughts for a Better Future” the organization says, “From new and unexpected voices will come discoveries that can help a school, a community, even a country. Small voices add up.”
In this context, Greek students from five high schools and five universities were invited to address the topic through 4-minute speeches each, that were followed by Q&A sessions, with questions asked by a very lively student audience. Welcoming all to this first WSD event in Greece, ACG President David G. Horner set the tone in his opening remarks with quotes from five memorable US speeches by Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.
Representing Deree at the WSD, was Aggeliki Andreadaki, who is currently studying Management. Aggeliki gave her impactful speech on the inherent power of empathy as a driving force in global change, stressing that “without empathy, we will remain spectators.”
Aggeliki was supported by her fellow students Nourhan Tarek El Shenawy, Antony Kalogeropoulos, and Anastasia Melnychuk. ACG was also represented at the high school level, by Pierce Lyceum student Basil Benopoulos. Basil spoke about the value of the longevity of the European Union which, as he stated, “depends on the creation of a common European identity that can mainly be achieved through education.”
Students representing several public academic institutions also participated, namely, the 3rd Lyceum of Glyfada, the 2nd Gymnasium of Alimos, and the 6th and 7th General Lyceums of Nea Smyrni. Participating at a university level were the the Athens University of Economics and Business, the National Technical University of Athens, the Debating Society of Greece, and the Model United Nations team from the University of Piraeus.