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ATTRACTING OUR YOUNG TO HELLENIC CULTURE AND HERITAGE (cont'd)

A REALISTIC PROGRAM FOR OUR YOUNG.

A realistic and sophisticated program appropriate for the American and Canadian scenes, should include the following:

1. CAREER DEVELOPMENT: These will be Programs designed to assist the young in fulfilling career aspirations. This can be the most powerful tool in the hands of our Organizations, operating at the grassroots level. Today, there is nothing closer to the heart of the young, than success in securing a place under the sun, by pursuing a successful career, through formal education. This is a sacred mission for most of them and they will do literally anything, (they will even stand on their heads like Ben Gurion of Israel), if that could enhance their chance of success in upward mobility. This is where the Community and career development programs come in.

Counseling services, pamphlets and brochures, are available at Colleges and University campuses, yet there are several neglected areas. Items like motivation, encouragement, correct study habits, time budgeting, perseverance, development of leadership qualities, role-modeling, self-confidence, self-assurance and the need for hard work and other relevant issues, under the heading of: "A Formula to Success," are not found at Colleges and Universities.

Thus, a custom-made, Community directed Program, for High School seniors and College freshmen, can be of enormous value for helping our young to succeed and for demonstrating that our Community cares about their future. This is a low cost approach for attracting the young to the fold of Hellenic Culture and Heritage. This view is buttressed by 16 years experience of career development Programs in Northern California (Dr. Geokas) for admission to Medical, Dental, Veterinary and Pharmacy Schools and allied Health professions.

These programs were highly successful and were for this reason introduced into the Congressional Record twice (in 1976 and 1983). Central to Career Development programs will be an expected appreciation by the young, regarding the genuine efforts of our Community to secure their success in upward mobility.

Such programs fostered by our local organizations across the United States, a country where, normally, there is no free-lunch, could be a powerful device in achieving our goal: to stimulate the interest of our young in the affairs of our Communities and to encourage their participation and support of Cultural and Hellenic Heritage related activities. Academicians (we have a good number of them) Professionals, Business people, Executives, Politicians and others, can play an important role in this endeavor. The Brain-Power required for this task is plentiful within our Community.

What is needed is meticulous organization, strong will, and concerted action to set up the programs, by coupling our efforts to the dearest of their life's goals and aspirations: their career and strong desire for achievement. Financial support can probably become available according to a recent superb article in the National Herald, concerning the 50 richest Greek-Americans in the United States. Even a modest contribution from each of these powerful individuals and from many others, will make a sizable amount, for supporting special programs for our young, through a National Foundation which could distribute Grants in aid to local Organizations for College student-scholarships and other activities.

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