Washington, DC, October 13, 2017 — The Washington Oxi Day Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Philotimo Scholarship Competition. Once again, the Foundation received a large number of competitive submissions from Greek-American students across the country.

Students were asked to watch the Foundation’s “Greek Secret” video on the subject of philotimo and answer one of the following questions:

▪ What does philotimo mean to you?
▪ What are some extraordinary examples of philotimo that you have seen?
▪ What are the things you can do in your daily life to exhibit philotimo?
▪ How can philotimo improve your life?

The first place essay was submitted by Steven Vournazos of Newtown, Connecticut. He will receive a $2,000 scholarship and an invitation to the Foundation’s 7th Annual Black Tie Gala at the US Institute of Peace in Washington on October 26. The Honorable B. Theodore Bozonelis, Trustee of the Nicholas J. and Anna K. Bouras Foundation, will present the scholarship at the gala.

Vournazos’ winning essay focused on the “philotimo practiced by our first responders and average citizens who put the interest of others above themselves.” He highlighted recent crises, from the refugees in Greece, to the flooding in Texas, to the shooting in Las Vegas. He noted that the “altruistic actions of those in horrific situations, like the word philotimo, can’t be defined by just the words ‘friend’ and ‘honor,’” as they are “giving value to life beyond one’s own.”

He concluded that, “Philotimo is not being a hero. It is a quality that everyday people share with heroes. Doing heroic acts are only one aspect of philotimo. It is a standard of living above oneself. It makes people strive for all virtues such as integrity, honesty, ethical behavior, morality, charity, and the love for one’s neighbor. With this, one surpasses his own human limitations and transcends into something greater.”

The two second place winners, each of whom will receive a $1,000 scholarship are Vivi Christopoulos of Knoxville, Tennessee and Odysseas Nikas of Chicago, Illinois.

The two third place winners, each of whom will receive a $500 scholarship are Michael Vlahos of Safety Harbor, Florida and Elizabeth Tsouristakis of Astoria, New York.

Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you to all who participated in the 2017 Philotimo Scholarship Competition. The Foundation thoroughly enjoyed reading each essay.