Reasons For Federation Essay Contest

WESTBOROUGH, MA – The Panepirotic Federation of America last Saturday, Jan. 6, awarded prizes to the winners of an essay contest it sponsored last year about how young people with family ties to Epiros feel about their ancestral region.

Two $2,500 scholarships were awarded, one each for the two regions of Epiros, half of which lies within the borders of Albania and half in Greece.

The two winners are Olga Fotos, who is studying for a master’s in psychology at Assumption College in Worcester, MA, and Othon Pagounes, who is a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, MA, majoring in biomedical engineering. Ms. Fotos is from the village of Selleio in Northern Epiros and the parents of Mr. Pagounes are from Aristi in free Epiros and Himara in Northern Epiros.

The checks for the awards were presented to the two winners at the offices of the Panepirotic Federation here by its president, renowned author Nicholas Gage, who congratulated the two winners for their devotion to Epiros and wished them both successful careers in their chosen fields.

The essay contest is part of a broad program the Federation has initiated, hoping to raise interest in Epiros for young people who may not feel the ties to their ancestral region that their parents and grandparents did, according to Mr. Gage.

He said that another program the organization sponsors is a one-month intensive study program every July at the University of Ioannina, where American-born students are given the opportunity to improve their knowledge of Greek and to learn more about the history and culture of Epiros.

More than 60 young people between the ages of 18 and 28 have participated in the program, which the Federation sponsors jointly with the World Council of Epirotes Abroad, headed by business executive Chris Dimou.

All expenses for the Ioannina program except for air fare are covered by the Federation, Mr. Gage said. Young Americans in the program live in university dorms along with youths from many European and Balkan countries and study in the school’s state-of-the-art language laboratory financed by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Anyone interested in learning more about the Ioannina program may contact George Nanis, the vice president of the Federation, at

“Such programs have helped us not only to raise interest in Epiros among our young people, but also to move them to join the Federation,” Mr. Gage said. “In fact, the majority of our officers and board members are America-born Epirotes.”

For Students

Getting Involved
Young people today are stepping up and becoming strong advocates for the right to life. Perhaps it is because as many as one in three people in their generation have been lost to abortion. Students have more opportunities than ever to restore protections for life in the womb. Here are some ways students can get involved:

•    Enter our Pennsylvania Pro-Life Essay and Oratory Contests, which are held every spring. Our Essay Contest is open to students in 7th to 12th grades . Our Oratory Contest is open to high school students in 9th to 12th grades. Students may enter for the chance to win cash and other prizes. Click below for more information:

•    Join a pro-life club at your high school or on your college campus. Visit Students for Life to learn more, or request our pro-life club starter kit from our office.
•    College students, check out the National Right to Life Academy. This intensive summer course offers college students an in-depth study of abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research. Students can earn college credit for the Academy. The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation offers a partial scholarship to students in our Commonwealth. Contact us for details.
•    Reach your friends with pro-life information. Share a pro-life photo on Facebook or Instagram. Tell them about the help available to pregnant and new moms at your local pregnancy resource center. Or start a conversation by asking them what they think about a recent news story on that deals with abortion.
•    Invite someone from the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation to come speak to your pro-life club or church youth group. Our dynamic speakers have years of experience engaging and inspiring young adults to passionately defend our right to life. Contact us for more information about speakers and topics.

Writing a Research Paper
Researching and writing a paper about a right to life issue can be a great way to learn more about modern threats to human life. Abortion, assisted suicide, and embryonic stem cell research are among the most controversial and life-destroying issues in the U.S. today. Check out the “Fact Sheets” section on our website for facts about these right to life issues. And click here for our list of tips  for writing a research paper.
Looking for answers about pregnancy, abortion, and more? is a website designed specifically for young people to find answers to difficult questions about unplanned pregnancies, abortion, adoption, and parenting. Teens can also read stories sent in by their peers about how they dealt with these issues.

For younger children
Abortion can be a difficult issue to discuss with younger children. Parents should decide how much and when to discuss the issue with their young children. One of the best things parents can do with their children from an early age is to instill in them a respect and value for every human being. Parents can teach their children that every person, including those who look different or have a disability, is valuable. A good way to begin the conversation is to read “Horton Hears a Who” by Dr. Seuss and discuss the message of the book. Read more tips for parents here

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