[The inaugural Midwest Regional of the AHEPA Hellenic History Tournament was held at Loyola University Chicago School of Law in Chicago, IL with over 24 high-school aged students from all over Chicago and Northwest Indiana participating in the tournament on November 14, based on the Jeopardy television show format that quizzed students on Hellenic History. AHEPA’s description of the event follows.]
CHICAGO, IL – AHEPA Supreme President Phillip Frangos was in attendance for the tournament, which was hosted by AHEPA Chicago Lakeshore Chapter 205. “The Hellenic History Tournament is a great way to engage our youth on learning our ethnic history,” said Frangos. “What is most impressive is that the students have voluntarily committed substantial time and energy to learn about their history and ancestors.” The winning team received a $3,000.00 scholarship prize ($1000/student) and the second place team received a $1500.00 scholarship prize ($500/student).
The Midwest Regional of the Hellenic History Tournament was the first time the tournament has been held outside of the New England area. The tournament originated in 2009 with AHEPAN Nicholas Nikas of Greenwich, CT, formulating the concept and developing the necessary materials to host the tournament. “Nick Nikas is a true visionary in developing such a wonderful program for our youth,” said Supreme President Frangos. “The study of Hellenic history will serve the students well in their future academic pursuits. Their study not only enables them to learn the history of Greece, but it helps them to better understand why the founders of this country relied on their knowledge of Hellenism in establishing the governing structure of the United States,” added Frangos. The New England tournament is hosted by AHEPA Yankee District 7 and is held at St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church in Orange, CT.
The Hellenic History Tournament is a one-day event held in the fall. Teams competing in the tournament are sponsored by their local AHEPA chapters and participation in the tournament is open to any high school student who is interested in learning about Greek history. The day begins with an introductory ceremony where all competing students are awarded participation certificates. Teams then compete in a head-to-head style tournament.
The multiple-choice questions are displayed on a projector screen and read by a moderator. The questions cover history that includes “Ancient,” “Middle,” and “Modern” Greek history and all the questions are drawn out of a book that is provided to the students when they register for the competition. Teams advance based on answering the most questions correctly and the final two teams in the competition are awarded the $3,000.00 first-place and $1,500.00 second-place scholarship prizes. Family and friends are encouraged to attend the competition and watch their teams compete as the event is a family affair.
The Hellenic History Tournament has thus far been a great success and AHEPA is looking into expanding the tournament into other regional sites. Potential locations include Philadelphia, North Carolina, California, Michigan, and Toronto. The ultimate goal is to create a National Championship tournament held at the annual AHEPA Supreme Convention where the top teams from each regional advance to compete for the national championship.