7th Student Awards "YouSmile Awards"

23 June 2023


Athens, 23 June 2023

7th Student Awards "YouSmile Awards"

Children can do great things as long as we trust them!

"You are never too young to change the world!"

"The Smile of the Child" and the YouSmile Student Volunteer Network, for the 7th consecutive year, had the pleasure and the honor to host again the student awards that have become a tradition, the "YouSmile Awards". These awards are the apogee, of YouSmile's activities, of each year, and aim to encourage and support student volunteering initiatives and actions, on an individual or group level.

In the crowded hall of cinema "DANAOS", students, schools, teachers, YouSmilers volunteers and Influencers liked by children, met again to celebrate all together innovative ideas, selfless thoughts and actions that inspire young and old ones, and create a positive impact on the social environment. Under the motto "You are never too young to change the world", the event, hosted by Dimitris Ougarezos, was a great success for another year, full of excitement, surprises and many Smiles.

Watch the 7th Student Awards "YouSmile Awards" HERE: https://www.livemedia.gr/7yousmile

The YouSmile Awards are held every year with the approval of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and this year they are also supported by the "SynAthina" program of the Municipality of Athens.

It is worth noting that, in the 7 years of YouSmile Awards, have participated more than 35,600 students from 683 Primary and Secondary schools from all over Greece, upgrading the YouSmile Student Volunteering Network with their ideas and inventions, every year and a little more.

As every year, the resourcefulness, selflessness and creativity of the children caused a sensation and impressed young and old ones, who attended the event either in person or remotely. The event was addressed by the Deputy Mayor of Social Solidarity and Civil Society of the Municipality of Athens, Mrs. Katerina Gkagkaki, and the President of the BoD of the Organization "The Smile of the Child", Mr. Costas Yannopoulos

The Deputy Mayor of Social Solidarity and Civil Society of the Municipality of Athens, Mrs. Katerina Gkagkaki, welcomed the attendees and said, "I feel very happy to be here today and to have had the chance to really get to know "The Smile", and you should also feel lucky and fortunate, as well, to have known the Organization from the inside. "The Smile" has supported and continues to support actions of substance, and I know it will continue to do so even more strongly and even more intensely".

The President of the BoD of the Organization "The Smile of the Child", Mr. Costas Yannopoulos greeted the students, their parents and their teachers, expressing his joy that through "The Smile" the children continue the example of its founder, little Andreas, and said: "Today I will confide to you that I feel a little strange... I will start with a story. Once upon a time, there was a 10-year-old boy, Andreas, who had an idea that all children should be well! So here I am, 28 years later, and because of other child volunteers who have continued Andrea's idea, I do feel proud of all their initiatives and ideas. I would like to thank Mrs. Gkagkaki and all the people who inspire, who continue and will continue to fight to meet the needs of the children".

The awards were given to the young protagonists of the evening by: Christopher Papakaliatis, Actor, Director and Screenwriter, Costas Yannopoulos, the President of the BoD of "The Smile of the Child", Angelos Patsis - Mr. Plaka Exei, Comedian, Digital Creator, Katerina Gkagkaki, Deputy Mayor of Social Solidarity and Civil Society of the Municipality of Athens, Georgina Tsanga, Coordinator of the European Student Volunteer Network "YouSmile" of the Organization, Vera Tsichli, Coordinator of the Volunteer Department of the Organization and of course YouSmile students-volunteers.

The YouSmile Awards, as awards by children for children, were chosen by YouSmile student volunteers after their own vote, electing the following 7 winners, while all the young participants received honorary commendations for their outstanding initiatives.

The evening also included another contribution award, to a man who has been standing by the side to the "The Smile of the Child" and honors with his presence and his goodwill, the actions of the Organization for 10 straight years, the host of the YouSmile Awards and friend of "The Smile", Dimitris Ougarezos.

More details of the Awards and the special personal story of each awarded child:


1.         Category: Students who have helped society

WINNERS: Students of the 2nd Primary School of Neapolis, Agrinio

Presenter of the prize: Angelos Patsis, Mr. "Plaka Exei"

The students of the 2nd Primary School of Neapolis Agrinio, last Christmas, donated the money they collected from singing carols to the Special School of their area, thus covering the needs of another school and some other children’s’.

2.         Category: Technology & Science

WINNERS: "Robocores" Team | Yannis Ragos, Aliki Ragou and Konstantinos Mazarakis

Presenter of the prize: Vera Tsichli

Giannis, Aliki and Dinos are high school students who created a device that facilitates access to class for visually impaired students. An idea based on Aliki's experience when her glasses broke and she couldn't attend class for a few days. They are the "Robocores" Team and participate as a team in international competitions.

3.         Category: Children who defended children's rights

WINNERS: Students of the 1st Primary School of Voula

Presenter of the prize: YouSmilers

The students of the 1st Primary School of Voula decided to travel to the remote island of Arkia to march with Angelos, the only student living there who has no friends to play with every day and no classmates to march with. As one of the children of the Board of School of Voula aptly said "No child should be left alone..."

4.         Category: Adult who inspired children

WINNER: Emmanuela Masourou

Presenter of the prize: Costas Yannopoulos

Emmanouela lost her sight at the age of 7 from leukemia, is a musician and a martial arts champion. She didn't let her vision loss stand in the way of getting a violin diploma, or taking up swimming and she is a champion in judo, and as a result she is now preparing for the Paris Paralympics! Her dream is to become a school music teacher as she is a graduate of the Department of Music Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. For the last two years she has had a precious companion in her dog, Dovi.

5.         Category: Sports

WINNING: 17-year-old Sofia Foukaraki, from Heraklion, Crete

Presenter of the prize: Christopher Papakaliatis

Sophia, along with her team, became a champion in polo! Last year while competing, she was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma and since winter she has been living in Italy, where she is undergoing chemotherapy and attending distance learning courses with the help of her teachers. If Sophia, with her strength and perseverance, is not an inspiration, then who is?

6.         Category: Art and culture

WINNERS: Students of the Special Vocational Training Institutes in Heraklion Crete

Presenter the prize: Katerina Gkagkaki

The students of the Special Vocational Training Institutes in Heraklion Crete, who love art, to play and the environment, wanted to inspire their classmates, and all of us, by creating their own sensory toys from recyclable materials.

7.         Category: Environment

WINNERS: 8-year-old Stavroula and 10-year-old Chrysa Dimitropoulou

Presenter the prize: Georgina Tsanga

Stavroula and Chrysa are primary school students and they love animals. They spend their holidays in Pyrgos, where they come from. Last summer, they found a puppy suffering from scabies and dying, Amos, and decided to help him by picking him up and calling the local animal welfare organization. Today Amos is healthy, living at the Animal Shelter and the girls visit him and learn his news.

Schools that participated with their actions and initiatives in the 7th YouSmile Awards:

  • 2nd Gymnasium of Agios Nikolaos, Crete
  • 2nd Kindergarten of Serres
  • 6th Kindergarten of Volos
  • 7th Board of Directors of Alexandroupolis
  • 9th Board of Mytilene
  • Adamantios School of Thessaloniki
  • GEL Gazi, Heraklion, Crete
  • GEL Mataragas
  • Prometheus Schools 
  • Kindergarten Aridaia

We sincerely thank our Sponsors who contributed to the implementation of this year's Smile Awards:

  • PUMA
  • D. KEYS & CO.

See photo material from the 7th YouSmile Awards at the following link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3qVCKc1AsQyTVRTJ6

More information:
"The Smile of the Child"
Press Office