Congratulations to the PIERCE Harvard Model Congress Europe (HMCE) team, made up of 20 B’ Lyceum (11th grade) students and their invaluable advisors, who returned from Madrid in mid March with a record five Awards of Excellence and four Honorable Mentions.

The Awards of Excellence went to Amalia Papathanassi (National Security Council), Foteini Kitsiou (Senate), George Anagnostopoulos (Senate), Eleana Strouthou (International Atomic Energy Agency) and Argyris Patikis (International Atomic Energy Agency).

Katerina Psilopoulou (Media), Jason Arzinos (National Security Council), Nicholas Papoulias (European Union)  and Dimitris Varvoglis (World Health Organization) won the Honorable Mentions at one of the most prestigious events for high school students in Europe – an Academic Advancement Program like none other, which sees the largest simulation of the workings of the American Congress as well as international institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, with students acting as their delegates.

PIERCE students took part in the HMCE for the seventh year, after winning an impressive roster of 12 awards in the first six years. This year they came back with nine awards, almost doubling their success over the previous six years this year.

Guided by Harvard University students, competing high school students are able to engage in role playing – assuming the identities of politicians and other officials – in a highly stimulating intellectual environment at the sister organization of the Harvard Model Congress Boston.

PIERCE students worked tirelessly throughout the year, with PIERCE faculty, ACG staff, coaches, including ACG alumni and corporate supporter AB Vassilopoulos – DELHAIZE, in order to give their best at HMCE in Madrid – the meeting point for close to 600 students from 44 schools and 15 countries, who came together in noble intellectual competition on March 15-17.

PIERCE’s George Anagnostopoulos said in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony that one thing will stand out from all the things students learned through preparing for the conference: the need to sharpen their listening skills. He underlined that if they want to debate, negotiate and compromise, they must learn to listen, not just speak, quoting ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, who said “Δύο ώτα έχομεν, στόμα δε έν’, ίνα πλείονα μεν ακούωμεν, ήττονα δε λέγομεν” (We have two ears but one mouth, in order to listen more and talk less). The PIERCE student added that in life, the aim is to solve problems through compromise and that through listening, one can solve even the most irresolvable problems.

HMCE PIERCE students thank AB-DELHAIZE for its invaluable support

“Participation in prestigious academic programs, such as the Harvard congress Europe Conference (HCME), is a lifetime impactful opportunity as the HCME is the most dynamic international model congress simulation available to high school students,” says Kostas Macheras, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Southeastern Europe & Asia at the Delhaize Group as well as Chief Executive Officer of AB Vassilopoulos. He added that the future of Greece and of Greek enterprises is dependent on competitiveness and on well-trained young people with international exposure.

Before leaving for the HCME in Madrid in mid March, the PIERCE students and their advisors met with the AB Leadership Team to share their experiences, impressions, as well as learning outcomes and to thank them for their generous support of their HCME participation.

During their visit, the students offered a short presentation on HMCE and each student explained their role during the conference.

In turn, they also learned about AB – DELHAIZE Group’s local and global business, meeting with AB executives – including Alexia Machera, Communications and Sustainability Manager at AB – who showcased the company’s business model, mission and vision.

Representing PIERCE were ACG’s Executive Director of Development Mary-Irene Triantafillou, as well as PIERCE professors Ginny Deligiannis and Ferne Deliyannis.

“The American College of Greece (ACG) is fortunate to have supporters like AB Vassilopoulos who believe in the importance of offering educational opportunities to deserving young people, especially in these challenging times,” says Mary-Irene Triantafillou.

“Academic Advancement Programs (AAP), such as the Harvard Model Congress Europe, provide bright, talented, and hardworking students the opportunity to go beyond the classroom in an international setting and apply their studies in different and creative ways, learn about leadership and interact with students from other cultures, helping pave the way to an exciting and hopeful future and the next generation of leaders,” she adds.

Every year, an increasing number of ACG students who meet the criteria set by the organizers of such programs and ACG are unable to attend due to financial constraints. ACG seeks to help students overcome these difficulties by securing funding to assist them in their goals.

All these students are outstanding ambassadors for ACG, for Greece as well as for the corporations that support them.

ACG offers a number of AAP programs to both PIERCE and DEREE student such as Harvard Model Congress Europe, Global Young Leaders, Model United Nations, European Youth parliament, eTwining, Visit to CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), Debating, EUDC Debating Tournament, World Universities Debating Tournament, PanHellenic Forensics Tournament, The National Center for Student Leadership Spring Conference and Certified Student Leader® NCSL Spring Conference, International Youth Leadership Conference, AFCEA student Conference, American Student Government Association National Student Governments Summit, National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) National Convention, among others.

For more information on AB-DELHAIZE’s support of PIERCE Students at HMCE, visit our Gifts of Note section.

To learn about ways to support ACG or to contribute to existing funds, please contact the Office of Development & Alumni Relations:

Greece: Mary-Irene Triantafillou (DEREE ’89) Executive Director, ACG Office of Development – t. +30.210.600.9800, ext. 1239, [email protected]