Jonathan Cacatian is a sophomore student in the Bachelor of Science in Informatics at Hellenic American University. He is a highly conscientious, hard-working student with a passion for the humanities and a strong sense of social responsibility. His interest in volunteerism began in high school when he joined "Youth Leaders in the Diaspora", a service for overseas Filipino youth run by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas that is designed to raise cultural awareness of the participants' home country. At Hellenic American University, Jonathan deepened his commitment to civic engagement, working as a volunteer in various non-governmental organizations that offer support to minorities, homeless people, and underprivileged children. This year, Jonathan devoted some of his boundless energy to take part in the film “The Grecian Captive,” as Dr. Arsenis’ assistant (Director). This production was created specifically for the Cultural Tribute to Liberty Festival, which has been organized by the Cultural Committee of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) with the coordination of the International Relations for Culture and Ms. Zozo Lidoriki, and the financial support of the Hellenic American University, the Hellenic American Union and Dr. Eugenia Arsenis. Through his dedication and work on these and other projects, Jonathan has proven to be an inspiring and enthusiastic advocate of civic engagement.
I was first exposed to the importance of community volunteerism in high school when I joined the program "Youth Leaders in the Diaspora" (YouLeaD), a cultural immersion program run by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas for overseas Filipino youth, with little knowledge of their home culture. Through this program, I was able to learn about various actions such as tree planting and gift-giving to improve the lives of the vulnerable population in the Philippines, which included indigenous people and minority groups. Hellenic American University has given me the opportunity to participate in various volunteer programs, such as supporting minorities by attending upcycling workshops with "Shedia," participating and acting in the first American play on the Greek War of Independence, “The Grecian Captive,” fulfilling children's wishes by preparing posters sent to the schools of children with critical illnesses in Greece with "Make a Wish," and providing for those in need with "O Allos Anthropos'" social kitchen. My time at HAUniv has shown me the value of lending a helping hand to others. I saw the impact that one person can have on others, and it inspired me to keep making a difference. Our small efforts will undoubtedly have a large impact.