Meet a Scientologist —Human Rights Advocate Niko Papaheraklis
Scientologist Niko Papaheraklis is the Director of Youth for Human Rights, Washington D.C. chapter, and has traveled around the world to promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Dividing his time between work, volunteering and Scientology, in Panama, Washington, D.C., and Clearwater, Florida, Niko Papaheraklis is a focused and fun-loving 26-year-old ball of energy.
He has helped produce human rights events in New York, Washington, Florida, Panama, and Taiwan and has arranged the airing of human rights public service announcements to millions of people. He has represented Panama at an International Human Rights Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, and assisted on Youth for Human Rights World Tours, which he says was exhilarating.
“It gives you an adrenaline rush when you have to think on your feet like that,” he says. “You are always dealing with something new—new locations, new people, new complications and problems you have to solve.
And by ensuring kids know the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we are changing lives.”
Papaheraklis has also met with the secretary of the First Lady of Panama and with the Director of the Organization of American States to promote education on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Living in Washington, D.C., he helps his father run the family business that builds homes in D.C., Virginia and Maryland.
“A lot of my job involves online work, so while I’m on tour or taking Scientology services in Florida I can still keep up with my responsibilities,” he says.
In addition to his human rights activities, Papaheraklis is a Scientology Volunteer Minister, and was on the team that provided relief in the wake of the 2012 Haiti earthquake.
Raised in a family of Scientologists, it wasn’t until he was 14 that he realized personally the value of Scientology.
“I had been hanging out with friends who were getting into trouble and I did too. I got to the point I’d had it with that lifestyle, but didn’t know what to do to change things. I came clean to my mom. She could easily have been furious, but she just listened to what I had to say,” he says.
His mother helped him learn about Scientology Ethics Technology, which L. Ron Hubbard describes as enabling the individual to “put his own ethics in, change conditions and start heading upwards toward survival under his own steam.”
“I started applying Ethics Technology to my life. It became much more natural to tell the truth, and the desire to help others came back to me.”
Relaxed, good-natured and outgoing, Papaheraklis is nevertheless focused on what he wants to accomplish in the future, and he is working energetically to make that future great.
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A digital pioneer and leader in the online religious community, in April 2008 the Church of Scientology became the first major religion to launch its own official YouTube Video Channel, with videos now viewed more than 7 million times.