High School/Hometown: Red Bank Regional High School/ Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey
Education: pursuing a B.A., Rutgers University (with minor in Modern Greek Studies)
Year of RU Graduation: 2020
Current Position: President and Founder of Into the Light, A New Jersey Not-For-Profit Corporation
Why did you decide to take courses in Modern Greek?
I decided to take courses and minor in Modern Greek because my family is from Greece and I used to speak the language fluently. As a child, my grandparents, who only spoke Greek, lived with my family so we spoke Greek in the house almost all the time. We also lived in Greece for two years where I was able to perfect my Greek and learn about the culture from a young age. Once my grandparents passed away, and we moved back to the United States, my family stopped speaking Greek in the house and I started to forget the language. Taking these classes has allowed me to get back to my roots.
Is there anything from the Modern Greek program that has contributed to your perspectives and experiences?
The Modern Greek program has encouraged me to learn about the Greek culture in depth. I understand the world in a new perspective now and it has encouraged me to be more open minded. I also appreciated the small class size because it allowed me to form a bond with both my Professor and with my peers. We are all able to work together and push each other to do the best we can in and out of the classroom.
Did you participate in the overseas programs?
I participated in the overseas program at the American College of Thessaloniki. This was an extremely eye opening and wonderful experience. I was able to fully immerse myself in the culture and language. I was able to form new connections with fellow Rutgers students, students from other schools, and my professors and administrators in Greece. I was able to build confidence and become more independent than I thought was even possible. I also loved the classes I took in Greece. I believe I learned more in the 5 short weeks of classes there than I have in any other classroom setting. The staff and professors are wonderful.
What advice would you give?
I would highly recommend students to participate in this program. This program was a completely different experience than the rest of my experience at Rutgers. The small classes allow you to learn and understand the material thoroughly and bond with your professor and peers. It will open your eyes to a different world and history that you might not have a chance to learn about otherwise. There is no reason not to do this program. It is one of my favorite things about Rutgers University.