PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation Announces New Leadership Fellowship
New three-year program designed to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders
When the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation says it strives to go “Beyond a Scholarship”, these aren’t simply words. It is at the heart of what it does. This is evident in the brand-new PanHellenic Leadership Fellowship, created in partnership with The Renaissance Fund, a Chicago-based private foundation. PanHellenic’s newest program will cultivate tomorrow’s leaders with a three-year fellowship, which includes$30,000 in scholarship funds, a mentor, and support to realize their leadership potential.
Founded in 2002, the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation has awarded more than $3.5 million in scholarships to over 550 college students. Its mission is “to promote education by providing scholarships and educational programs to Greek American college students who, guided by the values of their Hellenic upbringing, have the potential to become lifelong significant achievers and contribute meaningfully to society”. In support of this mission, PanHellenic has continued to evolve, offering more opportunities to set college students on the path to success. Going ‘Beyond a Scholarship’, PanHellenic offers several opportunities, including networking, mentoring, and internships. This newest program helps them to further cultivate tomorrow’s leaders.
“While greatly admiring the significant $10,000 scholarships we have been able to provide consistently to scholars for years, The Renaissance Fund wanted to fashion a different giving plan that would attach their scholar to the PanHellenic for their Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years,” said PanHellenic Chairman Robert Buhler. “This program, which includes an assigned mentor, alumni support and fellows returning each year to the gala and other events, adds significant value in addition to the exceptional financial value The Renaissance Fund will provide. We believe this ‘combined package’ will materially help the Leadership Fellows.”
The Renaissance Fund supports religious, charitable, educational, and scientific purposes of organizations promoting educational and humanitarian efforts and programs in the Greek Community within the U.S., and the Eastern Orthodox Church. They accomplish their mission by offering grants and donation to qualified 501(c)3 organizations and educational institutions plus scholarships to students attending eligible educational facilities. The two organizations first collaborated last year, when the Renaissance Fund offered a scholarship through the PanHellenic, which then began fellowship discussions.
How to become a fellow
Beginning this year, college sophomore finalists for a PanHellenic Scholarship Award are automatically eligible. Interested students must complete a supplemental application, in which the Academic Committee, along with The Renaissance Fund, will assess their leadership potential and select two fellows. Each fellow will receive a renewable $10,000 award, part of $30,000 total. These fellows will also be paired with a mentor in their field of study, and will meet semi-annually. They will also check-in with the PanHellenic quarterly, to present their grades and satisfy milestones that pave the way to receive their next $10,000 award for the following year. Participating in alumni initiatives will also be required. The process repeats through the third year.
“We will assess each applicant’s leadership potential and their sense of philotimo,” said Peter Korbakes, Director of Scholarships for the PanHellenic. “Our Leadership Fellows must have a passion to truly make a difference in society and a drive to help perpetuate Hellenism in America.
Building on Founder Chris P. Tomaras’ vision
The new program furthers the vision of PanHellenic Founder, the late Chris P. Tomaras, a Greek immigrant who came to the United States on a student visa. When his sponsorship faded, so did his dreams of completing his college education. Through hard work and tenacity, he became a successful businessman and a generous philanthropist. Even though he didn’t complete his studies, he viewed education as the most important pillar of success. He devoted the last two decades of his life establishing and growing the PanHellenic to help Greek American students realize this goal and set them on a path to a bright future.
“In focusing on leadership, we are committed to ensure that students get through their college career with all the support they need, said John Manos, PanHellenic Trustee & Treasurer. We are taking what we do in our Mentorship Luncheon and other events and going a step further. Offering this hands-on approach to mentorship and guidance, in essence, provides another layer of scaffolding to help our scholars succeed. We’re investing in students with a lot of potential, to help them launch their careers,” Manos added.
Higher education costs continue to increase annually making college education financially out of reach for most students and their families. Therefore, the PanHellenic is dedicated to continually evolving, to support the youth. This award will be a significant boost for the needs-based student with strong leadership potential, providing opportunities that may otherwise be out of their reach.
A Matching Grant Challenge
The Renaissance Fund will provide the PanHellenic Foundation with a total of $120,000 to expand this program, adding two new fellows each year, bringing the total to six. It invites the community to join it and PanHellenic to not only nurture future leaders, but to help shape our tomorrow. It challenges businesses, organizations, and philanthropists with a shared vision to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders, to join in supporting, expanding and matching the grant to offer even more opportunities for Greek American college students through the PanHellenic Leadership Fellowship. Businesses, organizations, and philanthropists interested in participating in the Matching Grant should contact Peter Korbakes at [email protected].
The first PanHellenic Scholarship Leadership Fellowships will be awarded at the annual Awards Ceremony & Gala, on June 19th 2021. For more information, visit panhellenicsf.org. Sign up for their newsletter and stay up-to-date on their latest news.