Greek-American journalist, television presenter and actress Maria Menounos was honored for her philanthropic activities on Wednesday night by the Thessaloniki-based UNESCO Center for Women and Peace in the Balkan Countries.
Center president and president of the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO Katy Tzitzikosta called Menounos an example of a woman who succeeds with hard work, adding also that she is simple and sweet person with a dynamic personality, and invited her to be a Goodwill Ambassador for the Center's Women Artists Festival.
Menounos spoke of her recent book "The EveryGirl's Guide to Life", expressing hope that soon it will be translated into Greece.
She said she decided to write the book because people would ask her how she managed to do so many things in one day, or how she slimmed down, and other such things, so she decided to share the knowledge she obtained from speaking with specialists, due to her job.
Menounos founded the charity "Take Action Hollywood!" after her trip to South Africa. Reporting on the devastating effects of the AIDS crisis she was inspired to create TAH!, a charity that utilizes the power of the entertainment industry and the medium of film to affect for positive social change. Maria also created the Cosmo Girl Cup, a national, annual competition and award given to the group of teens who do the most in their communities to affect for positive social change. Menounos also presented at the Earth Day Network's Climate Rally in Washington, DC on April 25, 2010. She encouraged people to go green and threw carrots into the crowd. Menounos acted as the Masters of Ceremony for the First Annual Los Angeles CureSearch Walk for Children's Cancer held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on October 24, 2010.
In 2008, she was the first journalists to interview the entire Barack Obama family.
Menounos is also a staunch supporter of Special Olympics, and took part in the Athens 2011 Special Olympic Games' opening ceremony.