AHEPA National (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association)
AHEPA was founded on July 26, 1922 in response to the evils of bigotry and racism that emerged in early 20th century American society. It also helped Greek immigrants assimilate into society.
Today, AHEPA brings the ideals of ancient Greece, which includes philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence to the community.
Although a majority of the membership is composed of Americans of Greek descent, application for membership is open to anyone who believes in the mission of the organization.
Chapter 519 was founded in May 1998 and is the second chapter in the Atlanta Area. The chapter is affiliated with the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Marietta, GA. The approximately 40 brothers, from all walks of life, support each other and partake in social, community and fundraising events. The chapter is focused on the education and philanthropy pillars of the National AHEPA mission. As a result of the group’s efforts, we have raised thousands of dollars annually for deserving students in the Atlanta Area to attend college.
The Chapter mission is embodied in Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Mission and Pillars of AHEPA
The complete mission of the National AHEPA Family is to promote Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence. The details of each of these pillars can be found below
An important component of AHEPA’s mission is to create an awareness of the principles of Hellenism to society. These principles include a commitment to humanity, freedom, and democracy. The preservation and promotion of these ideals is where AHEPA has, and always will be, deeply committed.
AHEPA educates the community on these matters through symposia, forums, and conferences.
AHEPA’s commitment to education has been well documented throughout its history. Over $4 million is endowed at the local, district and national levels toward the use of scholarships and a half-million dollars is awarded annually. Thousands of young men and women have benefited as recipients of AHEPA scholarships at these various levels. The most famous recipient, perhaps, is ABC News’ Host of This Week George Stephanopoulos.
The scholarship program at the national level is administered by the AHEPA National Educational Foundation. It offers scholarships to a wide variety of students. Recipients are: traditional and non-traditional students; seminarians, including those entering Holy Cross Greek School of Theology; and high school seniors, college and post-graduate students who are looking to become tomorrow’s leaders.
In the Atlanta Area, Chapter 519 supports the efforts of the AHEPA Mother Lodge Chapter #1 Educational Foundation. Several of the chapter officers and brothers serve on the Board of this organization which issues 40-50 scholarships annually to deserving students.
In addition, the preservation of Hellenic or Classical Studies programs on college campuses is an important issue for the AHEPA Educational Foundation. A subcommittee of the Foundation, the Hellenic Cultural Commission, actively works to support the study of the Classics at universities.
Finally, educational programs such as “Journey to Greece” and Washington Internships are sponsored by the Foundation.
Philanthropy and volunteerism have been pillars of strength for AHEPA. From natural disaster relief to raising funds for the elimination of life-threatening diseases to making significant contributions to our local neighborhoods, AHEPA is at the forefront of charitable giving.
AHEPA’s philanthropic deeds are evident in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island; in the Halls of St. Basil Academy, a childcare facility in Garrison, N.Y.; in the care packages we sent to our troops in cooperation with the USO; and in the building of healthcare facilities in Greece. Yet this only scratches the surface of the numerous philanthropic works of the association. In addition, countless charitable projects are undertaken every year by AHEPA’s chapters and districts.
Our grassroots has a strong voice. With chapters in every major metropolitan city and in rural areas of North America, AHEPA communicates the positions of the Greek-American community to elected representatives at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as to our diplomatic leaders. These issues pertain to Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey; however, our constituents are also interested in domestic policy areas affecting the philanthropic, civic, and community service-based programs in which they are involved. These positions are based upon our American heritage and ideals with the best interest of the United States in mind.
AHEPA educates its constituents about these issues through seminars and conferences, providing expert panelists from the U.S. government, prominent Washington, DC Think-Tank organizations, and the business world.
Furthermore, AHEPA keeps a watchful eye on Congress with its Congressional Scorecard, a tool that evaluates each member of Congress on Greek-American issues.
Family and Individual Excellence
What makes AHEPA unique from other organizations is the creation of the AHEPA Family. Together with three affiliated organizations, the AHEPA Family works as a unit toward the fulfillment of a common mission. Combined, the four organizations