Sampson Kasapakis, Program Coordinator
Sampson Kasapakis is currently in his final year of the Masters of Divinity Program at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and eventually moved to Sarasota, Florida. He graduated from the University of Central Florida (in Orlando, FL) with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with minors in Chemistry, Biology and Leadership Achievement.
While growing up, Sampson was very involved with the Church and saw the influence that youth ministry had upon his life and wanted to give the same experience he had as a GOYAn/Camper to the youth of our Archdiocese. Throughout college and currently to this day, Sampson has been very involved in Youth Ministries. Sampson is involved with teaching Sunday School, being a GOYA advisor and working with HOPE/JOY, and spending his summers at Saint Stephen's Camp in Salem, SC. Through these experiences and the experience of being an Ambassador, he has been blessed with the amazing opportunity to travel around the Archdiocese of America to represent our beloved school and help the youth of our church build a stronger relationship with God.
Hailing from the great state of New Jersey, Michael Mercado is from the Saint Demetrios Parish in North Wildwood, NJ. He is currently in his senior year of Holy Cross after having graduated from Hellenic College in 2011. Michael has served in youth ministry primarily at the Metropolis of New Jersey Camp, Camp Good Shepherd and has also engaged in youth ministry at the parish level which he considers as being both fun and edifying. While quite fond of Theology, Byzantine Music, and American History, Michael also loves rooting for his lifelong football team the Philadelphia Eagles.
He prays that his work with the Sonia Belcher Ambassadors Program will allow him to better serve all Orthodox youth and to grow in faith with them through their shared spiritual experiences.
Alyssa Loutsion was born and raised in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. She is in her third and final year at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology pursuing a Master of Divinity, enabling her to follow her passion in Youth Ministry. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies concentrating in Childhood and Adolescents.
This is Alyssa's second year as a member of the Sonia Belcher's HCHC Ambassador Program. She has been a staff member at Camp Nazareth, the Metropolis of Boston Camp, and Ionian Village for various summer camps and retreats over the past 6 years. She is the current Campus Activities Board Director of HCHC and works as the assistant to the Dean of Students. Alyssa is very thankful for her many experiences with our Orthodox Youth and would love to thank them for inspiring her to attend the seminary with aspirations to continue such rewarding work.
Nicholas Mueller is a third year Masters of Divinity student in the Seminary Program at Holy Cross. His undergraduate work was in English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Nicholas’ family lives in Roseville, California and attends St. Anna’s Greek Orthodox Church. When he is at home he plays Ultimate Frisbee, Skateboards, and bikes with his two younger brothers and dad, and gets schooled (literally and figuratively) by his mother who teaches catechism at St. Anna’s. Nicholas’s has worked two summers as a camp counselor at St. Nicholas Ranch, assisted with the GOYA at St. Anna’s, and other GOYA retreat on campus and at Annunciation Cathedral in Baltimore. He currently teaches Sunday School at Sts. Constantine and Helen in Webster, MA. Nicholas enjoys youth ministry because of the fulfillment that comes from working with youth, learning from them and other youth ministers.
Mary Robinson was born and raised in York, Pennsylvania. She is a junior at Hellenic College studying Human Development and is hoping to continue further education into the field of psychology. Mary is an avid Steelers fan and also thoroughly enjoys the arts. She has spent many years as a camper in the past at Camp Nazareth and more recently been a counselor for summer camp and retreats over the past two years.
Andrew Athanasiou hails from beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is in his Third year as a Seminarian at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering.
Andrew has been a counselor and program coordinator at the Metropolis of Pittsburgh Summer Camp and GOYA Retreats for the last 7 years. Andrew was a Sunday School teacher, Parish Council member and Festival Chairman at his home parish before coming to Holy Cross. Andrew currently sits on the Metropolis of Pittsburgh Summer Camp Executive Committee, Youth Commission and GOYA Committee. He is ready to bring his faith, youth work and church experiences to your retreats!
Nikoletta Evangelatos grew up in Rhode Island, and is currently in the Human Development Program at Hellenic College. She absolutely loves Summer Camp. Nikoletta attended the Metropolis of Boston Camp for many years as a camper and more recently as a staff member, working with both the program team and the incredible youth. She has loved her experiences at camp, as a Sunday School teacher, and being a part of retreats within the metropolis. She is looking forward to an exciting year with the Ambassador team!
Andrew Otto hails from Cumberland, Rhode Island and is currently studying at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Andrew graduated Northeastern University with a degree in mathematics. This is Andrew's first year working with the Sonia Belcher Ambassadors Program. Andrew has worked as a youth minister at the Metropolis of Boston Camp since 2007, and began work this year as a youth coordinator at the Annunciation Parish in Cranston, Rhode Island. Andrew is thrilled to have the opportunity to work as an ambassador.
Danielle is in her final year of the Master of Divinity program at Holy Cross School of Theology and is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She has been a counselor at the Direct Archdiocesan District’s Camp Saint Paul, GOYA advisor at the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Hempstead, NY, a counselor at Ionian Village, and staff for CrossRoad. Her studies at Holy Cross allow for the cultivation of viable experience and an Orthodox education, leading toward the path of mental health counseling. She is eager to serve with the Sonia Belcher Ambassadors and to witness the shared experience of Orthodox Christians growing, preparing for, and living lives in Christ.
Anthony Jonas comes from Palos Hills, IL—just southwest of the wonderful city of Chicago. He is a transfer student from the University of IL at Chicago and is currently a junior in the Human Development Program at Hellenic College. With a passion for working with youth, he aspires to pursue a career in School Psychology after completing many more years of schooling.
Anthony has served as a camp counselor at the Metropolis of Chicago Fanari Camp, the Metropolis of Detroit Summer Camp, the Metropolis of Denver Camp Emmanuel, and the Metropolis of Atlanta St. Stephen’s Camp. He has taught two years of Sunday School and Vacation Bible Camp at his home parish of Saints Constantine and Helen in Palos Hills (Let’s go Connie’s!). Anthony works as the Student Administrative Intern for Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) and has participated in OCF Real Break trips to Project Mexico and Guatemala as well as two OCF College Conferences. Anthony enjoys meeting new people through the many ministries of the Orthodox Church and hopes to determinedly give back to the Church as best he can.
Cassandra Garibaldi grew up in the Lowell, MA area. She is currently a first year student in the Master of Divinity Program at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Last spring, she graduated from Hellenic College majoring in Religious Studies. She has been apart of the Ambassador program for the past three years and is excited to begin a fourth year. Cassandra has a passion for youth ministry. Over her four years, she has been apart of retreats in the New England area and across the country. She spends her summers at the Metropolis of Boston Camp and is a part of the Pastoral Staff there. She is very thankful for her many opportunities to serve the youth of the church and is blessed to be apart of a program with so many faithful individuals.
Michael Kallis is a Religious Studies graduate from Hellenic College. He was born and raised in Livonia, Michigan. He is currently in his last year of Graduate School at Holy Cross in the Masters of Divinity program. Michael’s youth ministry experience includes directing Orthodox Life at the Metropolis of Detroit Summer Camp, Cross Road, working at various retreats at the Metropolis of Boston Camp, and directing GOYA.
Nicholas Livingston is from Santa Cruz, California and is currently a senior at Hellenic College. He intends to continue his academic career in pursuit of a Master of Divinity degree next Fall (2014). His father is a deacon in the Orthodox Church and he has always found great joy in attending services and ministering to the youth. He has worked at the St. Nicholas Ranch Summer Camp in Dunlap, California and is very excited to begin ministry through the Sonia Belcher Ambassador Program.
Thomas is a Priest Kid or "PK" whose father serves at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Virginia Beach. He went to college at James Madison University where he completed a double major in Spanish language and International Politics with a minor in Latin American studies. He has two sisters and a brother. Thomas loves football, "Go Steelers!", and played a lot in high school, but now simply watches the sport thanks to a shoulder injury. Thomas enjoys reading in his spare time, mostly history and theology with pleasure reading when possible.
Most of his experience with youth work comes through camp. Thomas went to Camp Nazareth in the Pittsburgh Metropolis from the age of six and has been counseling for seven years. His last year there, he served as the assistant director, which gave him a lot of administrative experience. These past couple years of camp, Thomas also volunteered at Camp Good Shepherd in the New Jersey Metropolis. In college he was involved in his OCF serving a time as his local chapter’s president. Thomas has worked with his home parish’s vacation church school and for the last few years has assisted in Christian education in parishes around the Boston area, which he viewed as a very good learning experience.
Yianno Pantazelos has a Bachelor of Arts from UMass Boston - College of Public and Community Service. He is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Apparently he likes to go to schools with long names! He loves being part of youth ministry! Yianno has been involved with the Metropolis of Boston Camp as a counselor as well Ionia Village. Yianno has been on several mission trips to Tanzania, Guatemala, Mexico and New Mexico. He is currently the Youth Director at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Weston, MA. This year is Yianno's first year in the Sonia Belcher ambassador program. He loves Hellenic College/ Holy Cross very much and has been visiting the campus as young as five years old when he did Vacation Church School.
Yanni Michaelidis is currently enrolled as a Masters of Divinity Student at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Yanni was born in Greece and has been in the states for the past 15 years. He grew up in Roslindale as a member of the St. Nectarios Church where he was an active member of the Youth Groups. Yanni has joined the Metropolis of Boston Camp Staff and has dedicatedly served for over 7 years. He has been a part of the leadership team for the camp, working not only in the cabins but also working to guide, lead, and train the staff. After Yanni graduated with his Liberal Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Hellenic College, he spent a year as an intern living at the camp performing all manner of service and work. Yanni is also the Athletics Director of the Boston Metropolis where he organizes the Basketball Leagues he was once an active participant of. This is his first year as an Ambassador, and he is extremely exited to travel across the country and interact with orthodox of various different backgrounds .