I was born in Alexandria of Greek, Christian parents. Five years later, I had a brother. We moved to Athens, Greece, when I was 11 years old, and graduated from Women's Public High School, Kallithea, Athens, Greece when I was 17.5. I graduated in May and started working in June for an American travel agency, SITA World Travel.
In August, 1963, I competed and got a Fulbright scholarship and came to the U.S. to study English for a year. I thought I was coming for a year only. However, my scholarship got renewed for three more years (one at a time) and I got my B.A. in Philosophy & Religion in May of 1967. (At graduation, Olga was the recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award which recognizes members of the campus community who have shown by daily living those qualities emblematic of a spirit of love and helpfulness to other men and women. Seventy colleges and universities in the South give the award.)
I went back to Greece a couple of times to visit my biological family but decided to claim the U.S. as my country and, in 1976 I became a permanent resident, and I’m very happy to be here!When I came here in 1963, I had a Fullbright scholarship which covered my first year at Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia. The big surprise was that I also received a month’s home-stay with an American family and I got here a month early so that I would get to know some of the American culture. Frank and Eleanor Smith and their four children lived in Scarsdale, N.Y., and I lived with them for that first month. That was a very special gift—I loved my American family and, for some reason or another, they loved me. Since my scholarship got renewed for the following three years, they invited me to stay with them for all the holidays and the summers. I can never put into words what a blessing that was for me. As my (American) dad put it, I was their Greek daughter and they treated me just the way they did their own biological children—Stanley, Howard, Carol, and Gretchen. Age-wise, I fit right in the middle. I was two years younger than Howard and about one year older than Carol! My (American) dad made sure to tell me that, whenever I found a young man, he wanted to meet him and make sure that I was treated well!!!
After I graduated from college, I was recruited to work as a Field Representative for World University Service, an international organization serving developing countries with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. I traveled on their behalf for three years—the first year out of Atlanta in the Southeast, the second year out of Chicago in the Midwest, and the third year out of Philadelphia in the Northeast. I really enjoyed these years even though it was not a job on which to live and make a home. I was on expenses covering board and room and, of course, the travel expenses plus $75/month the first year and $100/month the second and third years. I was constantly on the road via Greyhound and Trailways since we were supposed to save money and raise money for university communities in developing countries—the projects were on a matching-hand basis. If we gave, say, $400.00 to Botswana, Africa, they were supposed to match the gift with work so that they could build a library.
Olga Vorloou Photo Album