Sophia Sourlis– AHEPA Reflection

Dear Mr. Govotsos,

I apologize for the delay in my response.  I have been very busy with final exams for my summer courses, moving-in at school, and training to be a freshman mentor.  I sincerely appreciate your interest in hearing of my experience and thank you for your recognition.

Below is a synopsis of my academic, athletic and outside experiences in AHEPA and Duke.  I do not have any pictures from the banquet to send you since our camera was not working, but Dr.Pete Nickolas did take pictures at the banquet.  I hope to get copies or emails of the photos from him.

Reflecting back, I am extremely grateful to have been selected to be a recipient of the AHEPA Collegiate Scholar-Athlete Award.  It is very rewarding to be honored by an organization that holds the prestige and longevity of the AHEPA.  This organization provides opportunities for Hellenic youth to remain connected with their culture and to learn more about it through events such as the AHEPA Supreme Convention, AHEPAcademy, and Journey to Greece.

My freshman year at Duke University was a most fulfilling experience.  I was named to the ACC Honor Roll (Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll). Our team, the Duke University Women’s Lacrosse Team (Division I), made it to the NCAA  Final Four (National Collegiate Athletic Association); that was such an incredible experience!  I was also selected for three programs entitled CAPE (Collegiate Athletic Pre-Medical Program), FOCUS (a selective Duke freshmen program focusing on ethics, citizenship and corporate responsibility), and Pandemic 2011(a Duke Global Health Institute Forum).

My background includes receiving two nominations and an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, receiving a full scholarship to attend The Citadel, and completing twelve years of study with scholarship from the Johns Hopkins Peabody Preparatory of  Music  which culminated in a solo Senior Recital in Piano.  I also had an enriching experience being a scholarship recipient attending the AHEPAcademy.  I will continue as a member of Duke Women’s Varsity Lacrosse as well as OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship ).

Not only does the AHEPA provide Hellenic youth with wonderful opportunities, but it also acknowledges the accomplishments of its youth.  Having worked very hard to become a collegiate varsity athlete while simultaneously maintaining my academics, learning that I was the recipient of the AHEPA Collegiate Scholar-Athlete Award provided me with the recognition that encourages and inspires me to continue working to maintain my athletic and academic pursuits while remaining connected with my Hellenic culture.

The AHEPA Supreme Convention Athletic Banquet in Miami was quite an extraordinary event!  I was overwhelmed by the attendance, so impressed by the coordinators and quite honored to not only be a part of it, but to be one of the honorees!  I had the opportunity to  meet other scholar-athletes who share similar values and a similar lifestyle.  I met senior AHEPANs who commit their time and effort to sustaining, promoting and acknowledging our Hellenic athletes and their contributions.  I was honored and excited that so many guests approached the honorees to introduce themselves and identify their connection to AHEPA.  Witnessing the words of the AHEPA Hall of Fame inductees brought out the common thread that intertwines us all: our work ethic, our family, our commitment, our passion and drive for our Greek culture and roots that our parents, papous and yiayias passively instilled in us through our upbringing.  It was truly an incredible experience.

I am so appreciative of the AHEPA for recognizing me as a collegiate scholar-athlete. I am honored to have been selected by AHEPA among my peers throughout the US and Canada.  This honor, the beautiful plaque and the wonderful experience will remain with me throughout my life.

My gratitude goes to my parents and siblings,  my church, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Baltimore,  AHEPA Worthington Chapter 30 and Capital District 3, Mr. John Tanionos and Mr. Spiro Siaggas of the AHEPA National Athletics Program for their love and continued support.

I am excited for my sophomore year to begin as I continue my academic and athletic endeavors at Duke University.  Thank you again!

With sincere gratitude,

Sophia Sourlis

Duke University Class of 2014

Member of Duke University Women’s Lacrosse Team

(Sophia is the Daughter of Worthington Ch. #30 member, Pete Sourlis)


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