21 Sep 2017
Being Brotherhood President

"There is no doubt that being the Brotherhood President comes with great responsibility. At some point you come to the realisation that you are representing every student in the school and bringing about changes is what is mostly expected of you. The challenge of acting as a liaison between teachers and students, having to deliver requests and suggestions, is difficult to put into words, but it’s the kind of experience that teaches you a lot about communication. People will perceive certain matters in entirely different ways and as a president you have to stand up for the common good — for what is right. Naturally, not everyone is left satisfied with your decisions, you can often become the one to blame and that is the cost of being willing to make a change and take risks. Yet that is exactly the beauty of such an experience; through it you get to work with so many different personalities and mindsets.

From organising charity activities to turning the Academy into a green school or even initiating the decoration of our school walls, it was clear that almost every student in the school had something to offer in their own unique way as long as we, the Brotherhood, created such opportunities. This willpower to contribute was always present at every Brotherhood Conference. Trying to improve the school is a gradual process and being involved in this through the Brotherhood also leads to the growth and development of your very own character and that is why I can easily say that this position has been one of the most valuable experiences in shaping me into the person I am today."

Florentzos Kouttas, Brotherhood President 2016-2017

"Being the Brotherhood president was certainly the highlight of my final year at the Academy. This was a role that was extremely challenging and demanding, but at the same time enormously rewarding and fulfilling.

Serving as President during a transitionary period for the school was definitely a challenge as it was quite daunting to be the Body that speaks on behalf of all other students. However, I believe that as a team, the Brotherhood Executive Committee 2016-2017, we managed to represent and support our fellow classmates’ concerns to the best of our abilities ensuring that any change would serve their best interests. We even succeeded in introducing new traditions during this period, such as the Education Fair, which is for me, personally, the biggest achievement of my tenure. The idea for an Education Fair has been long-held wish of various student councils through the years, and we manage to finally realise it. This would not have been possible without the zeal and persistent efforts of the team as a whole, in toppling any obstacles to make this event happen.

These qualities, alongside the invaluable leadership skills, are the greatest lessons I have personally acquired from this experience; principles which I still adhere to, always trying to employ them as much as possible in any task I might face. The presidency might seem like a lot of work and an additional burden to the already full timetable of an Academy senior, but it really is a blessing: an opportunity I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who is willing to dedicate a significant amount of his/her personal time to actively promote the interests of his/her fellow classmates and make a marked contribution to the school community."

George Pipiou, Brotherhood President 2015-2016

"The Brotherhood Committee contributes not only to the school but also the Larnaca community at large. Our role as a Brotherhood Executive Committee was not just to make changes but also to find new ideas that would improve our school. We firstly made changes to the Brotherhood Constitution so it could be better represented. We introduced changes to the election process, so that each year group could elect its own representatives. We also put a reward-point system in place, so that representatives are incentivised to help and volunteer in order to be elected the following year.

We also contributed to the environmental welfare at the School by actively promoting recycling through buying and placing large recycle bins in the playground. The representatives took sole responsibility of this task. We also formed a bond between the school and the residents of the St George Centre through our visits, during which we played sports together and learned how residents help the community through recycling and other activities. These are only some of the projects the Brotherhood had undertaken during the time I was president.

As President, there’s always the regret of all the unfinished projects we were not able to complete before our departure from the school. But the most important lesson I gleaned from my position is that a well-organized and strong-spirited team can work wonders and turn any obstacle to ash."

Minas Demetriou, Brotherhood President 2014-2015

"In my role as the Brotherhood President of the student body in 2012-2013, I was honoured to represent the American Academy Larnaca alongside my fellow Executive Committee members as well as the representatives of each year group, on numerous occasions such as school assemblies for special events like 'Polytechneio' and the Brotherhood Campaign.

Being an active member of the Brotherhood team allows each individual to contribute in their own unique way to serving the school and serving the community: values that are fundamental in becoming active citizens of our community and later in the world at large. One of the most memorable achievements of our serving year was the Brotherhood campaign dedicated to 'Serving our Community', reflected in our school motto ‘’To Grow and to Serve”. As the Brotherhood team we organised fundraising events and helped the Larnaca Food Bank (Κοινωνικό Παντοπωλείο) by providing people in need with food and clothing and raising awareness on the importance of making a difference by serving our community. The greatest lesson of all was learnt by working closely with others who are different from you, for a common cause.

When I look back now, I realise it is these experiences that remain with us long after we graduate from the Academy."

Charys Papagregoriou, Brotherhood President 2012-2013
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YouthLens is an initiative that aims to empower the youth in Larnaca. Among its founders, are four alumni.
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