Nick & Christina Zaharopoulos Endowed Student Award


Alumni Association Dept D01334


Undergraduate Student Support

History and Purpose:

In 1951, under the Displaced Persons Act, Nick and Christina Zaharopoulos immigrated to the USA with their four young children from war torn Greece after the Civil War (1946-1949) that followed World War II (1940-1942) and the German Occupation (1942-1945). While in Greece, Christina finished the sixth grade in her village school, but Nick had to drop out after the fifth grade to work full-time. In the US, speaking no English at all, Nick worked as a dishwasher six days a week and mowed lawns on Sunday. Later, he worked two full-time jobs as a cook. Christina took in laundry, sewing and alterations until her youngest child was old enough to enter school. Then, she cleaned houses and made custom drapes and bedspreads.

Nick and Christina were thrilled to learn about UCLA, where good students could go to college at little or no cost, and they vowed that all four of their children would be educated. Each of their four children went to Valley Community College for $5 a semester plus books, and then transferred to UC Riverside or San Bernardino State College.

Pat Zaharopoulos created this award to honor her parents, Nick and Christina, who worked hard to give the gift of higher education to their children. This award will provide financially needy UCR students from working families the same chance at upward mobility that Nick and Christina gave their own children through their sacrifices.

This Fund shall be used to provide support for undergraduate students.

Selection and Guidelines:

This award will provide financially needy UCR students from working families the same chance at upward mobility that Nick & Christina gave their own children. Must demonstrate financial need, GPA 3.0, 3rd or 4th year of college in good standing, personal statement required.

Administered by the UCR Alumni Association and reviewed by the UCR Office of Financial Aid, the recipient must:
- Demonstrate financial need
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.0
- Be a third-year or fourth-year student in good standing
- Submit a personal statement (no less than two paragraphs- no more than one page) on self, family,adjustment to new life and plans for future

It is the donor's preference that the successful recipient:
- Have a world view, public service or non-profit work plans and wish to help others to advance his or her own family
- Be an immigrant with US Citizenship or application pending or not in USA the minimum time required for citizenship application

The following may be used as a tie-breaker in case there are very qualified third or fourth year students who started at UCR:
- Had attended Community College before UCR to save money, reduce college debt or not to drain family resources so that younger siblings can follow

If none meet the above criteria, the donor wishes the award be made to a first generation or first in family to go to college.

In years when there is no candidate who meets the criteria, awards will be held until the following year.

The scholarship application process will take place in the Winter and Spring quarters. Please visit for more information on qualifications, applications, and deadlines.

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