Students, faculty and staff got the opportunity to meet Julia Goldsby, the 2014-15 Federation of American Women’s Club Overseas (FAWCO) Youth Ambassador, when she visited the ACG campus to inform students and others about the quality charity work she does, on April 28.

Julia Goldsby spoke of the many advantages of taking part in charitable work: “it just feels good,” she said, while noting the horizons it opened, the new friends she made, as well as the scholarships she won through FAWCO and other organizations.

Julia Goldsby’s lecture entitled “The Beauty of Your Dreams: Empowering Yourself by Helping Others,” held at DEREE’s Center for the Arts Auditorium, was well attended by members of the American Women of Greece’s (AWOG) organization, who are also members of FAWCO, and others.

Julia, who is 18, and is taking a gap year as FAWCO Youth Ambassador, spoke of her talents in photography, video, and music, and how she helps FAWCO by using her talents. She also showed a video she made about her trip to Shanghai as FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteer in 2014, and discussed the many scholarships she has won as an expat student living in Germany (born of American parents):

In 2009, she won first prize in the Clements International Youth Expat award. In 2011, Julia attended the Eleanor Roosevelt Girls’ Leadership program at Vassar College/Hyde Park in New York. In 2013, she participated in the FAWCO Youth Cultural Volunteers Program in Dubai; in 2014 she was a Cultural Volunteer in Shanghai.

Since August 2014, Julia has visited FAWCO clubs and FAWCO Board members in Seoul, Dublin, Edinburgh, Oslo, Bern, Geneva, Hamburg, Paris, Rabat, Marrakech, Doha, Dubai, and Rome. In Geneva, Switzerland, Julia served as a United Nations intern for the Beijing +20 NGO Forum on the Status of Women, and also co-wrote and performed “Maybe It’s You,” the theme song for the conference. After completing her year as the FAWCO Youth Ambassador, Julia hopes to attend film school, or do media design, she told the audience, and thanked AWOG and The American College of Greece for hosting her, noting how in the past week “I’ve find out about Greece, its culture, and your work – including AWOG’s work with children using miniature horse therapy, where yes, horses go into hospitals and orphanages, and other work.”

Julia Goldsby said that she is “aware of the troubled time of your country. You might feel overwhelmed, and want to give up. I know I do when I am overwhelmed, I feel like I want to give up. That’s when I break things down by taking baby steps, so now is exactly the time to step in. You can’t save a nation, but you can help one person, and your efforts will add up,” she said, adding, “Start small and dream big. Volunteer in your community, college or school, or help an elderly person with a friendly smile and conversation. Empower yourself with the four Cs: Be compassionate, be courageous, be curious, collaborate – finding others who share your passion and compassion to help.  Finally, reach for the moon, follow the beauty of your dreams, as the future belongs to us,” she concluded.

“There are many opportunities available for high school and undergraduate students,” Mary-Irene Triantafillou (DEREE ‘89), ACG’s Executive Director of Development and an AWOG member, who introduced Julia Goldsby told the audience, adding,  “Some of them are offered by FAWCO and AWOG, some are supported by them such as the Elena Roosevelt Scholarship that our DEREE freshman Maria Manoli Zafeiropoulou received while she was a high school student, as well as the Clements Worldwide Expat Youth Scholarship for ages 13 to 21. Students should look into the benefits offered by being members of AWOG, including membership in the Federation of American Women’s Club Overseas (FAWCO) and access to more scholarships granted to members and their children,” the Executive Director of Development told the audience.

On her part, DEREE student Maria Manoli Zafeiropoulou discussed what receiving the Eleanor Roosevelt scholarship as a high school student meant to her:

“It was a wonderful experience. I would strongly recommend it to high school girls interested in this program. It’s a program about developing leadership skills, about believing in yourself and helping others,” she enthused.

Mary-Irene Triantafillou also noted that AWOG has been a partner of ACG for over 67 years, benefiting education and “furthering our mission of providing deserving students with a high quality US model education. AWOG’s support to ACG dates back to the early days of the school” she said, adding, “The American College of Greece is honored to receive AWOG’s support towards fulfilling its educational mission. Each year, AWOG generously offers a €500 Scholarship to an ACG student.”

Ms Triantafillou also added that she was “very happy to have Mrs Layla Pierce (the US Ambassador’s wife), also an AWOG member, the AWOG president, and many other AWOG members here with us today.”

On her part, AWOG President Jane Bitzios thanked Julia Goldsby for her work, and invited all those in the audience who want to help with several charities AWOG helps in Greece, to either join the organization or contact AWOG for more information on any individual charity and how they can help.

Ms Bitzios added that AWOG’s charter has now been amended to include non-American, English-speaking volunteers, while she thanked The American College of Greece for all its help throughout the years, “especially the students who help us organize the AWOG Christmas Bazaar every year. We really couldn’t do it without you.”

Several other AWOG members were also in the audience including Dr S. Sue Horner – Scholar in Residence at ACG, The US Ambassador to Greece’s wife, Ms Layla Pierce, AWOG Vice President Linda Makri, AWOG Treasurer Nora Stamouli, AWOG Secretary Barbara Billin Dimitriou, FAWCO member and UNHCR Rep in Greece Grace Christovasilis, and AWOG members Rena Sarzetakis, Bessie Siouta-Vassiilopoulou, Pelagia Karas, and Athina Hadji.

Following the presentation, Marlene Tabbah, who serves as DEREE Ambassadors Vice President, took Julia Goldsby on a campus tour so that she could get the real feel of the ACG student body, its spirit, the facilities offered, and learn about the opportunities available to Greek and International students.

AWOG invites ACG students to apply for the AWOG scholarship and ACG parents to join AWOG and take advantage of the benefits it offers, including membership in the Federation of American Women’s Club Overseas (FAWCO) and access to more scholarships granted to members and their children.

AWOG – The American Women’s Organization in Greece was established in 1948 to bring together the women of the American community to study their international role in Greece. Since then, the organization expanded its direction and purpose to include welfare work. Its membership is made up of American and international women devoted to the American ethic of philanthropy.

Notable examples of AWOG and ACG cooperation:

In the early 1950’s, when there was a great need for social workers in Greece and PIERCE established a training program, AWOG provided scholarships for deserving students preparing them for careers in social services.

As PIERCE students adopted war-and-earthquake-stricken rural villages, AWOG supplied relief funds.

AWOG has been a donor to numerous ACG facility improvement projects; a fact commemorated by many plaques on the College’s Downtown and Ag. Paraskevi campuses, eg at the John S. Bailey Library.

AWOG has provided numerous awards and scholarships to DEREE students that have met high academic performance standards and are in financial need.

ACG students are very grateful for all the support they receive and in return volunteer and assist AWOG at their annual Christmas Bazaar, and are always eager to offer their time and talents.

ACG has given AWOG office space and venues for events.

Congratulations to the 2014-2015 AWOG Award Recipient Vassiliki Papailiou, who is expected to graduate in 2016 with a BSc in Communication.

Bravo to AWOG 2014 Christmas Bazaar volunteers from ACG: Elisavet- Eirini Chatzigaki, Evgenia Lykou, Omiros  Gkioumes, Nina Miranda Menicou, and Sofia leades Fas.

The ACG Office of Development and Alumni Relations in collaboration with the Office of Student Affairs organized Julia Goldsby’s lecture.

Learn about all the opportunities offered to high school and undergraduate students, by FAWCO and AWOG.

Find out about the Clements Worldwide Expat Youth Scholarship for ages 13 to 21 here.