Hello! This is your friendly Publications Student leader. My name is Demetri Maroutsos, I am from Chicago, Illinois (Glenview more specifically), and it is a pleasure to be of service for this 2018-2019 school year. For my first blog post, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself and tell my OCF story so you can get a better understanding of who I am as you continue with me on this year’s compositional journey.
If we want to start from the very beginning, I was baptized with the name Demetrios in St. Haralambos Church in Niles, Illinois. Fast forward to my first year at college, I am a nervous freshman who barely knows left from right on my college campus. Luckily for me, my cousin was accompanying me on my freshman journey and invited me to the annual OCF barbecue that my chapter hosts every year.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a huge meeting house appropriately titled “the NIKA house” named after “IC XC NIKA” or in English, the “Conquers” in “Jesus Christ Conquers.” Fifty Orthodox students congregated for the welcome barbecue sharing summer stories and introductions over the smell of sweet barbecue sauce and savory bacon macaroni and cheese. I added my name and email to the listserv and my OCF story was officially underway. I would attempt to come to weekly meetings, my attendance picking up on the tail end of my second semester.
Sophomore year, I return with a higher sense of surety in myself and my position within my school. My biology classes were picking up and so was my identity as an Orthodox Christian. My best friendships were starting to grow out of OCF relationships and my regular attendance at OCF was established. At meetings, we would eat dinner together, followed by a discussion on relevant topics about Orthodoxy and our role on the college campus. My first interaction with OCF as a national organization was at the Midwest spring retreat held at St. Iakovos Retreat center.
It was a cold and snowy spring, as is usual in the Wisconsin climate. I was put in a cabin with 25 other Orthodox Christians, and I was able to be real and meet people who were fighting their good fight all around the Midwest. I made some friendships that thrive until this day at that retreat, and I left feeling refreshed yet spiritually full, ready to take on the terror that was my Organic Chemistry final. At the end of that year I was elected to lead the OCF at the University of Illinois as the President during my junior year.
My junior year as president was challenging and rewarding. I was pulled between my leadership board, our church, the OCF alumni, OCF nationals and my students. We even won the Orthodox Awareness Month competition! The year ended well with a lot of Orthodoxy and a lot of fellowship, and I was inspired to apply for the OCF Leadership Board by one of my friends. I loved reading other Orthodox blogs and decided it was my turn to give it a try.
Here we find ourselves to today. My OCF story here halts because my goal with the blog is to not make it about me, but about each and every OCFer across the country. Here, we can discuss the very things that make us college students, tick, fun trips we go on, and the day to day beauty we all experience on our college campuses. I am so excited to embark on this journey with you all.
If you are interested in being a blog contributor or would like more information about the blog, email me at email@example.com
Also, if you have questions, comments or ideas please email me! I’d love to hear all your voices. You can email me at the same address, firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck at school everyone!