Following Giannis and Thanassis Antetokounmpo’s June 2017 visit to the Onassis Cultural Centre, the Onassis Foundation responded to their recounting of a difficult childhood and the obstacles they had faced starting out in life, and to their account of racism and the difficulties they had faced in their effort to acquire Greek citizenship, by teaming up with the Antetokounmpos to establish the Special Undergraduate Scholarship “One of a Kind” for the children of immigrants living in Greece – just like Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo. As the Onassis Foundation Director of Culture, Ms Afroditi Panagiotakou, explained at the time: “The symbolic establishment of this scholarship serves a dual goal: to provide a kid, who either does not have Greek citizenship or who acquired it within the last five years, with the opportunity to study and make their dreams come true and to send out a message in favour of a more open civil society”.
Ultimately, the selection process produced not only one but two successful candidates: Katerina Ampntel Saient and Jacub Maciejewski, two students from Sepolia. Although the original intention was to award the scholarship to one high-school graduate, the Onassis Foundation, taking into consideration all the selection criteria, decided to award it to the two prevailing candidates: Katerina and Jacub.
Eligible candidates for the scholarship included graduates of Greek public General and Vocational High Schools in the 4th municipal district of Athens – the same area where Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo started out.
Giannis Antetokounmpo stated: “I would like to congratulate Katerina and Jacub; may they achieve everything they dream of. Above all else, may they make the most of the opportunity they have been given, keep up their hard work, and reveal their superpowers to the world.”
Thanasis Antetokounmpo had the chance to meet the two scholars in person, and commented “this is an outstanding initiative, because it gives the children of immigrants, children like us, the chance to move forward and make progress towards achieving their goals. I would like to send my congratulations to Katerina and to Jacub.”
Katerina Ampntel Saient, who is of Egyptian descent, was admitted at the department of Russian Language and Literature & Slavic Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Jacub Maciejewski, who is of Polish descent, was admitted at the Department of Information Technology of the same University.