By Eleana Karmaj ’23 (Athens, Greece placed by American Councils in Colorado Springs, CO  

During the FLEX program, exchange students learn about American society and values while being ambassadors of their home countries. The ties between America and Greece that began during the FLEX program continue when alumni join the FLEX alumni community.  

On May 25, FLEX alumni from Greece Ioannis Kalimeris ’22, Iliana Stavropoulou ’22, Georgios Papadopoulos ’22, and Konstantinos Ntakoulas ’22 had the honor to be among 300 participants the Partners in Democracy Symposium organized by the U.S. Embassy at the National Gallery in Athens. The alumni met the U.S Ambassador to Greece, George James Tsunis, and networked with other high-profile guests.  

The program featured esteemed panelists discussing democracy and exploring current challenges democracies face, such as societal inequalities and disinformation., as well as ways to preserve and redesign democracies for future generations. These panelists included Ambassador Tsunis, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Stephen Breyer, and U.S. Congressman Don Beyer. 

Through this experience, alumni gained tools for being successful representatives of the FLEX community. Despite being among the youngest participants in attendance, alumni were fully engaged, asking questions and contributing to discussions. Afterwards, Ioannis, a student of International and European Law, reflected: “It was an honor to be able to share my opinion regarding democracy in front of so many people.”  

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