2016 Scholarship Recipient

Emily Nickolas

My Family’s History on Kythera

My name is Emily Nickolas and I'm 18 years old. My parents are Sarento and Jennifer Nickolas and we live in San Jose. This past May, I graduated from Presentation High School and will attend Santa Clara University in the fall, studying Business.

My Kytherian roots come from my father's family. My great-great-grandparents were Yianni Alfieris and Marigo Chlentzos. Papou Yianni grew up in Potamos and Yaya Marigo grew up in Christoforianika. After they were married, they immigrated to America in 1906 and 1907, respectively. Until I visited in 2014, when I was 16, I knew little about my family's history on the island. When I saw Kythera for the first time, however, I was surprised by its natural beauty. From the clear water to the kind residents, this place was like nowhere I had visited before.

The major highlights of the trip were seeing my family's history that my Yaya had told me so much about. We visited the Kytherian library that I have heard about at the luncheons; I realized that it is a big part of the Kytherian Society's work so it was a special experience seeing it. We attended the Liturgy at the little church in Agia Pelagia and we visited the Alfieris family's grave site at the cemetery in Potamos. I also met my Papou Yianni's niece, Spyrithoula. We visited her summer house in Potamos, and she took us to the Alfieris family's home that I had seen many pictures of. It was great seeing something that was such a big part of my family's history. Overall, my experience at Kythera was very different from what I expected. I came into the trip hoping to see some beautiful beaches and eat some fantastic food, which I did, but I did much more than that! I was able to go back three generations to my roots and see where my DNA comes from. There are many, many gorgeous islands off Greece but I'm from this one and I am proud to be! I hope in the future I can return and see even more of my family's history.

I am very grateful to the Kytherians for offering this generous scholarship. I would appreciate receiving it to put towards my education next year. Thank you very much for providing this scholarship to students of Kytherian descent! 

2016Panigyri 26


President Katherine Stathis announces the 2016 scholarship recipient

KSOCA2016SLIDES.013


2016Panigyri 29


Jennifer & Sam Nickolas, Emily’s parents, 

accept the award in Emily’s absence

   © KSOCA 2012