Interview with Ioanna Kotrotsios from Hermes Expo International
On May 11, Ioanna Kotrotsios chatted in-person with Greek-American journalist Markos Papadatos about being a recipient of the prestigious Hellenic Times scholarship. Ioanna is an honors student from Marple Newtown High School in Pennsylvania. She has played a leadership role both at her school and in her larger community, serving as a role model among her peers. She is actively involved with the Hermes Expo Youth Initiative, as well as the Hellenic News of America, one of the largest bilingual Greek-American newspapers in the country.
This year’s Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund (HTSF) GALA took place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. “I am very excited and honored to be here. Congratulations to all of the other recipients that have worked hard to be here today as well,” she said.
Ioanna revealed that she has been accepted and will be attending an accelerated Pharmacy Doctorate program at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
She listed her parents as her biggest influences in life, as well as her older sister, Aphrodite. “Aphrodite was involved in the sciences as well, so we would study together. It was an inspiration to look up to her and she always helped advance me towards my goals,” she said.
Ioanna was pleased with the turnout of the Hermes Expo Youth Initiative this year. “Many students participated and enjoyed the event. The guest speakers’ presentations were very informative and helpful. It was a wonderful experience. I love contributing in any way I can,” she shared.
Regarding her thoughts of the Greek American community, she stated, “I think it is still going strong. Greek Orthodox Youth Association (GOYA) especially plays a great influence for the youth and forming the initial bonds of Hellenism and friendship.”
Ioanna added, “We need synergy in the Greek American community to help form stronger bonds for the future generations of Greeks like myself. If we don’t, we will lose our culture and our identity along with it. It’s important to be close to one another, to keep our culture alive and to influence others along the way.”