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Department of State

New Jersey Hellenic American Heritage Commission

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State
New Jersey Hellenic American Heritage Commission

NJ Hellenic American Heritage Commission Essay Contest & Leontarakis Family Scholarship Awards

NJ High School Students of Hellenic descent are invited to submit an essay from the list below that will be judged by the NJ Hellenic American Heritage Commission. The winning author will receive the $2,000 Gus Leontarakis Hellenism Award and the runner up will receive the $1,000 Irene Leontarakis Agape Award.

Awards will be presented at the NJ Greek Independence Day reception on March 27, 2021.

Choose one question and submit your response of less than 500 words and submit before February 28, 2021. For further information, please contact:


Submit an Essay

If you are interested in submitting an essay, please complete and submit the form below:


Applicant Name

Are you a student?  (required) 
Were you born in Greece?
Have you visited Greece?
Do you speak Greek?


Advisor/Adult Contact Name:


Select one question for the essay:


Question 1

The English poet Percy Shelley declared in Hellas, “We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts, have their root in Greece.” Identify the Greek influences relevant in today’s modern society. Describe how your Greek roots facilitate your ability to recognize and incorporate the Hellenic ideals in your daily life.


Question 2

Please describe the leaders mission/ motivation to lead.
Thales said, “Philotimo to a Greek is like breathing. A Greek is not a Greek without it.” Since the word “Philotimo does not have a direct translation, describe what Philotimo means and how you incorporate it in your daily life.



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