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News > Alumni News > He Went, He Saw, and He Came Back with a Purpose

He Went, He Saw, and He Came Back with a Purpose

Meet Thanos Fragkogiannis, an ACS Athens Alum who Proves that Coming Home is Sweeter When You Can Appreciate It
Thanos Fragkogiannis sharing words of support at the 2023 ACS Athens Gala
Thanos Fragkogiannis sharing words of support at the 2023 ACS Athens Gala

About ten years ago, Thanos Fragkogiannis (and his family) made a change that shifted his path in a way he never would have predicted. Throughout elementary school and middle school, Thanos attended a prestigious Greek private school. As he grew from a boy to a young man, it became evident that the school’s approach to teaching was not effective in helping him learn. Having attended summer camp at ACS Athens when he was younger, his family decided to schedule a visit to better understand the experience.

“It was like night and day,” remembered Thanos. “I loved the classes I visited. I liked the experience so much I wanted to start immediately because the school felt like a small, bonded family.”

Among the many reasons why ACS Athens felt so natural for Thanos, he discovered after that visit, was that his father, George Fragkogiannis, is an alumnus of ACS Athens. His father had not shared that important detail with him earlier, but when he did, his decision was made easier .

Thanos Fragkogiannis officially joined the ACS Athens family in 2013 as a freshman in the Academy. He looks back at the four years spent at ACS Athens fondly, not only for the fun high school memories, but also for how the school and teachers helped reshape his perspective about education.  Approaching learning as a neurodiverse student - diagnosed with ADHD), Thanos found that the teachers at ACS Athens, and the curriculum itself, was better equipped to help students navigate and address learning differences. It was at ACS Athens, where he realized the learning challenges he had previously experienced were not solely due to a biological issue but also, in part, a response to previous teachers’ approach in teaching and limited engagement with students.

“Teachers at ACS [Athens] paid attention and cared for me as a student,” Thanos underscores. “That made me want to work hard to pay it back many times over.”

After graduating from ACS Athens in 2017, Thanos attended the University of Miami, where he majored in advertising management and minored in sociology and marketing. The transition from high school to college was smooth, thanks in part to how ACS Athens prepared him. Not only did his high school experience empower him with English-language skills that ensured he would be able to succeed at the University of Miami, but it also exposed him to the American approach to education and opened his mind to many cultures, which was invaluable on the bustling diverse campus. 

After completing his undergraduate studies, Thanos realized his time in the United States at this stage in his life was over. He was very grateful for the opportunity to learn a lot - both in school and from his experiences abroad, but he felt like he could be more useful in Greece. After all, he missed Greece - the food, the sea and the direct way people in Greece communicate. In fact, he recalls tearing up when he landed at the airport and was greeted at the sound of taxi drivers arguing. As bizarre as it might seem, it felt like home. 

Once back in Greece, Thanos completed his military service and was then faced with the decision of how to pursue his professional path. His family had an established cosmetics company, but as a young man he wanted to establish himself independently. First, he worked in real estate and then tried his hand at trading stocks because both avenues were thought to allow for a “faster” path to success. He discovered that both paths still felt empty to him, which prompted him to rethink what was fueling his need to make it fast, independently, and avoid the family enterprise. 

After some soul searching, Thanos decided to stop fighting the draw of the family business and started his next chapter siding with his dad’s company, Hellenica SA. 

“It might sound crazy, but I saw my life completely change,” Thanos shares. “I feel like I was born for it. Once I saw myself growing professionally within the company, my life started changing, and I started living with a deeper purpose, which is very important.”

Since starting his role at Hellenica, the parent company best known for its Seventeen brand of cosmetics, Thanos Fragkogiannis jumped in with more energy than he would have ever imagined. From working at the factory to utilizing his degree in advertising and experiential marketing, he is dedicated to learning more and more about the company and the industry with the hope of one day being able to lead for a third generation. 

Looking back at the last ten years since he first started at ACS Athens, Thanos highlights that he never would have thought he would be back in Greece working for his family’s business. He admits that his journey was far different from what he imagined as a high school student, which is partially why he is so excited about coming back to campus this coming March for the annual Alumni Insights Session where alumni share words of wisdom with Academy students.

ACS Athens would like to thank Hellenic SA, as well as George, Mike, and Thanos Frangkogiannis for their generous support of the 2023 ACS Athens Gala. 

We can’t wait to share more about Thano and his journey this spring as we prepare for the 2024 Alumni Insights Session. 

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