New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
On Saturday March 5th, 2005, the Pancyprian Women’s Issues Network (WIN) will honor Dr Maryanna Marangos with its “2005 Woman of the Year Award”, at a dinner dance to held at. Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadow Park New York.
Dr. Mary Marangos, as her friends call her, a daughter of immigrants, has been well known to the Greek American Community since she became the representative of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
Dr. Mary Marangos has held the position of District Representative to the 14th Congressional District, covering portions of Manhattan and Queens since 1993. She is responsible for constituent service and programs in those communities. When Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is in Washington D.C., Dr. Marangos represents her in official community meetings and/or events. She has represented the Congresswoman at an international meeting held in Cyprus and Greece in 2002. Since 1974, she has been active in the Cyprus Liberation Movement.
She also helps organize and attends events regarding the causes of two associations (e.g. Panpaphian and WIN (Women’s Issues Network). She works with local organizations such as The Greek American Homeowners Association and Cretan Association in citizenship drives and voter registration. Arranging car pools to transport senior citizens to voting sites is an annual event for her.
But her civil service started much earlier. She’s served as an educator, administrator and coordinator in the vocational/alternative high school level in the N.Y.C. Public School System where. She’s performed as a coordinator of the G.E.D program of the N.Y.C. Vocational Training Center at LaGuardia Airport. She coordinated the AIDS Prevention Program on the high school level, training teachers to teach AIDS prevention and holding conferences on AIDS.
She held staff development workshops on the elementary level, as well. Although she is now retired, there is much work remaining for the causes dear to her heart-human rights and freedom. She was the NYC Health Career Coordinator for new standards.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney spoke to the GreekNews enthusiastically about her assistant and close friend, whom she describes as her right arm in the community.
“I call her the Greek cannonball. Becomes into at a cause and she strikes a homerun all the time; I am very fortunate to have her working with me.
She’s extremely committed, hard working, intelligent. She cares deeply about the Hellenic issues as a descendant of her parents who were born in Cyprus. She cares deeply about the Hellenic American Community, and is very much of the leadership and fabric of the Queens’ civic community involved in everything from the Greek homeowners to obviously politics and working with me, and many others. She is also involved with the churches and with the Federation of Hellenic Societies.
I know that every year she marches in the Greek Independence parade, she’s also been involved in the various Greek soccer clubs, and supporting the humanities and the arts, and all the legislations that we’ve worked on to pass and support Greece and the Hellenic Community in Cyprus”.
Describing Dr Marangos’ values, Congresswoman Maloney said:
“She has excellent judgment; she’s very intelligent and caring. We are personal friends, in addition to having a professional relationship. Even when we’re not working, we are often together, because I like her and we’re personal friends. She’s very caring and she makes her that I know all of the emergencies, all of the things that I should be working on to advance the Hellenic Community, both in the United States and really abroad.
We were involved in promoting the Olympics in the United States and speaking out on the safety issues and getting the support of our government for some of the anti-terrorism and protection measures and everything from “Imia was invaded” to “Macedonia is Greek” to all of the issues she’s been deeply involved in.
Of course she can contact me anytime, she always knows where I am to tell me what needs to be done, when there are situations where people need to be helped or the larger efforts for the community at large”.
Philip Christopher, the President of the Pancyprian Association and PSEKA has been working closely with Dr Marangos.
“Dr. Marangos has been a vital member of the core of the Greek American community in Queens. Her assertiveness, intelligence, willingness to help are only a few of the characteristics that make her such a special person. Time and time again she has gone out of her way to help member of our community in need. She truly epitomizes the spirit of the Hellenic American woman — strength of character, activism, intelligence and caring”.
WHO SHE IS
The loving and devoted daughter of Pantelis Marangos from Kalavasos, Cyprus and Despina Kyriacou descendant from Lesvos, Greece and Cyprus, Dr. Marangos was steadfast in her care of both in their latter years. It is rare to see the amount of devotion she exhibited to these parents with never expecting anything in return. When it comes to helping others, ethnicity or differences in background never is an issue.
Dr. Marangos is a graduate of the N Y.C. Public School System. She earned an Associative Degree in dental hygiene from Brooklyn Community College. Subsequently she received her B.S. degree in dental hygiene/education from the N Y State Education Department. Her M.A. degree in high school administration and supervision was granted from Fordham University. She went on to receive a Ph.D. from Florida State University in International-Intercultural Developmental Education under a U.S. Department of Education full fellowship.
She has been honored by the Pan Macedonians Association, the Greek American Home Owners, Borough President Fernando Ferrier , the New York City Assistants Principals and others.
An interview with Dr Mary Marangos
New York.- Dr Mary Marangos by representing Carolyn Maloney has been present in many events honoring people, presenting citations on behalf of the Congresswoman. This coming Saturday the community will have a rare opportunity to be present at an event where she will be the honoree.
Dr Marangos offered as an interview, where she lays out her experience in working with our community.
Q: You have been present in many, many events honoring other people and giving citations and finally its one of the few times some people are honoring you. Just tells us a few things about this in particular?
A: It’s a surprise because I did not believe this was going to happen. As you stated, I’m not used to being the honoree, I’m used to honoring everybody else and basically my job has always been in the background making other people look good. And the interesting thing is even speaking with the congresswoman she’s often said people don’t realize that there are people like me that work…So I’ve always enjoyed being able to do the work and I guess it was never important to me to be upfront.
Q: It’s important though because it comes from an organization of women, right?
A: Well, that part of it yes because when I was born women were told to stay home. We were also told we had choices, we either got educated or we got married. Obviously, I chose an education. I also have been told by some groups where I group up with that I was the first one to learn to drive, and started an epidemic of the women wanting to drive. I was one of the first one’s to go to college and finish up from our group and a lot of others followed. So I think my place maybe has been to try and open doors for other people to go through.
Q: Dr Dia Christodoulides, the President of WIN has similar qualities with you, she’s also someone who gives to others …
A: Right, and actually she got honored last year for a change. And it was nice to be there when she ‘s got her honor. Yeah, when Dr Dia created WIN, she has created it for women. Not for women to sit there and bake and make cakes for the men. But for women to learn about what they need to know for themselves, how to protect themselves, how to advance themselves, and in many of the issues what she has done through WIN, which makes me happy to be a member of WIN is that she has educated women on health issues.
A CIVIL SERVANT
Q: II guess giving to others is a part of you. Although you are not elected official you are a long time civil servant.
A: True, a psychic told me many years ago that I was put on this earth to take care of other people’s children. And I think my work really has been that. I was in education, and yet even in education as you say I chose to teach aids prevention. I chose to deal with subjects like sex education which a lot of people even in our group said shouldn’t be talked about. I talk about drugs, and I talk about the hazards of drugs and I did a lot of work with that when I was teaching. And I had actually been brought up on charges one time.
A: Because they thought that the students shouldn’t be taught and the gentleman comes into my office accusing me of teaching wrong things. And I don’t know who he expected to find but he didn’t expect to find a woman like me wearing a cross. And he goes to me “Why would you teach this?” And I looked at him and said, “To save the lives of children.” If I saved one life in all that time, it was worth it.
Q: Is volunteerism being a strong part of our community?
A: Volunteering…yeah I think there is some more of it. I think as people get more educated too and if their out there working many times they find a need to give back. And I think before, they say it, it takes a town to raise a child or city to raise a child; we don’t have that any more. And we have the communities, we have the closeness, we had the mothers home all the time which economically now in most cases it can’t be done.
Most homes are two-parent working families. You need this kind of support in order to raise children, in order to have families, in order to get them on the right road, in order to have them do something that they don’t get into trouble. And I think an area our community has not done enough in is for the children. I don’t think we have enough organizations that keep them busy, I don’t think we have enough teams, and I think very, very often that we wonder why the population of young people is not involved in the organizations, which is something I’m always hollering about every year, is because we don’t give them anything.
They come to one or two meetings, but what’s in it for them. They want to get up, they want to get jobs, and we have to show them were being involved in volunteerism, in working with other people, serve them as they grow older. For me, it did when I was working with the congresswoman on the first election and I went back in to the Greek community as far as on a different level all of a sudden I knew like ¾ of the people there. And it was because I was involved with the “somatia” (associations) when I was younger.
Q: What have you learned in this 12 years or 13 years you are with Carolyn Maloney?
A: I’ve learned that I can do a heck of a lot. I’ve learned that there are a lot of good people out there, that need help and that we need to help them. I also learned that there are also a lot of people that will take advantage of you.
And when that does happen, you have to kind of say “ksehase to” (FORGET IT) because if you keep it in you it just destroys anything else you going to do, but its been good with the congresswoman because she’s allowed me really to progress, learn what I can do and practice what I can do.
Where, many a time I’ve seen maybe because I was a woman, if I went someplace they would say it because you’re in the philoptochos and I don’t belong to women’s organizations with the exception of WIN, because I think the organization should be joined between men and women.
(To be concluded in our next issue)