Helen K. Gantsoudes
The Gantsoudes Scholarship supports graduating seniors of George Washington High School attending college in North Carolina or Virginia. The scholarship was created by Helen K. Gantsoudes. Helen Kanos Gantsoudes established the Gantsoudes Scholarship Fund at The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region in 2008. Helen is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the daughter of a Greek immigrant and a North Carolinian. She attended public schools in Fayetteville and Worth Business College there for one year. In 1941, she married George Gantsoudes and settled in Danville with him. George was born in Agrafa, a remote region of Central Greece. He was only able to attend elementary school before having to go to work as a young teenager. He immigrated to the US in 1935, and immediately settled in Danville, where he was a restaurateur for many years.
Helen and George highly valued education and believed that education was a significant pathway to success in life. Although they had not had the opportunity to pursue advanced education themselves, they enthusiastically supported the academic pursuits of their three children, James, Betsy and Peter. Helen’s commitment to the Danville community and to the importance of higher education for all children led her to provide for a scholarship fund for GW High School graduates who attend a college or university in Virginia or North Carolina. Criteria for selection to receive the scholarship include merit and financial need.