“School teachers have such powers that prime ministers can only dream about” – Plato
Mary Vasilakou molded generations of students in New York City. Mary Vasilakou, of Astoria, New York, a member of the Greek Teachers Prometheus Association passed away. She came in the 1970’s in the largest immigration wave since the 1920’s. Ms. Vasilakou encountered obstacles. She overcame, establishing a permanent Greek presence in mainstream American education. When 2013 Greece’s identity and world image was at their lowest point in modern history, she helped form an initiative known as the Hellenic Relief Foundation. All proceeds were used to buy food from local sources in Greece for distribution to people who were and still are affected by the current crisis. Their motto is “Preserving Dignity in Crisis”.
Mary Vasilakou, a retired, international educator and active Prometheus Greek American Association member, was the first major donor to the Hellenic Relief Foundation. Their purpose is to secure funds and give them directly to Middle-Class Greeks jeopardized by the austerity measures in Greece.
The educator was active in all causes benefiting the community. She participated in a 2016 cause to help Epirus hosted by Hellenic News Publisher of America/Hermes Expo International President Paul Kotrotsios. Mary Vasilakou, Educator and Benefactor of the Hellenic Relief fund, Cosmos FM, and Prometheus Greek Teachers Association declared she is “from Laconia, Peloponnese. I am present to support the Pan-Hellenic cause of helping Epirus. The Greeks Overseas must aid Greece in their economic crisis.”
On December 15, 2019, a Christmas Celebration was organized by the Federation of Hellenic American Educators and Cultural Associations of America, the “Hellenic Paideia” of America, and The Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus,” at the Stathakion Cultural Center in Astoria, where Ms. Vasilakou was honored for her exceptional service to the education field. A great person who will be missed by all.