2018 Scholarship Recipient

Rachel Angelus Larsen

My Family’s History on Kythera

     Hello, my name is Rachel Larsen and my family has been a part of the Kytherian society for many years. I am 20 years old and I live in Lafayette and go to school at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, with intentions to transfer to San Jose State University in 2019. Currently, I am majoring in graphic design and also hope to get a minor in computer science.

     I am so grateful to have such a close connection to my history and culture. I’ve been coming to Kytherian lunches for quite some time and I remember when I was younger how my sister and I would help John Carvounnis with the raffle. Back then I was just happy to be at a place with friendly people, good food and most of all prizes, but now I see these gatherings in a much different light. It is a  blessing to be here because many others do not have such a strong connection to their roots. I feel so fortunate to have people in my life who are pushing and fighting to keep this wonderful Kytherian history alive. It’s amazing because not only do I have people around me who are of Greek descent, but from the very same island no less!

     I really treasure the times I have spent here and it really makes me feel connected to my heritage. This is very important because I don’t have a strong physical Kytherian presence in my life. My papou, Angelus Moulos, died before I was born and although I have his name as my middle name, it isn’t the same as having him alive and a part of my life. Unfortunately, I was not unable to hear directly about my family's presence on Kythera from my Papou, but I do learn about their journey to the U.S. by attending our Kytherian Luncheons.

      I trace my lineage to Kythera through my mother’s side, as my great grandfather, Ernest Moulos was born on the island and immigrated to America in the early 1900’s. His name is even recorded on Ellis Island. Like so many other immigrants, Ernest came to the states first, and then brought over the rest of his family. That family included my great grandmother Gregoria and their three children. One of those kids, my Thea Anna, vividly remembers the rough journey. She remembers being put into quarantine for having pink eye and the uncomfortable boat ride in Steerage Class. Despite these hardships they still they made it through Ellis Island and migrated to Kansas.

   After arriving in America and moving to Wichita, my great grandfather opened up a chocolate confectionery store and more importantly they had my grandfather, Angelus Moulos. The year was 1929. Unfortunately, my family lost their store because of the great depression and my Great Grandfather died, leaving his wife a widow and their children without a father.

     My Papou was 7 years old when his father passed away, and with that, the family decided to move to California with the hope of greater opportunities in San Francisco. My great grandmother Gregoria moved the family to California and they all settled in Oakland where my Yaya Gregoria would attend these very Kytherian luncheons in the 50’s and 60’s.

     My Papou Angelus grew up locally and was eventually introduced to John Carvounnis. John Carvonnis had immigrated right after WWII and was looking for family in the area when he reached out to his cousins Gregoria and Angelus. He and my Papou became quite close and John Carvounnis was my Thea Elaine’s godfather. Even though I had never met my Papou I felt like I always had a connection to him through Theo John.

     Someday I hope to strengthen that connection even more and go to Kythera myself, although, in a way I have already been there. Two months before my grandfather died, he booked a family trip with him to the island, and my mother at the time was pregnant with me.

     There has always been a joke that I have already been to Kythera, but since I am older I really want to see for myself.

This time as someone who can truly experience the island and be grateful for all the history and culture it holds.

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Scholarship Chairman Melissa Neofes-Mischak presents Rachel with her scholarship.

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Rachel thanks the KSOCA

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Congratulations Rachel!

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2018 Panigyri

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2018 Panigyri

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Elaine, Genevieve, Sophia, and Rachel Moulos

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Sophie & Rachel with Yiayia Genevieve Moulos

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Sophia & Rachel deliver raffle prizes to the winners after Thea Elaine Moulos, & John Carvounnis call out the numbers.

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Sophia and Rachel helping with the raffle.

 Su   © KSOCA 2012