Independence Day everyone! This year has flown by so quickly. Let us
take this opportunity to share some wonderful news regarding our
wonderful orphan college students. On June 24, UCARE held a party to
celebrate the graduations of twelve of our students! Previous graduates
were also invited to the party, which was held at a restaurant on the
banks of the Dnieper River. We enclose a photograph taken at the
UCAREís U.S. volunteers prepared a
message to the graduates, which was read to them by Marta Kolomayets, a
very dedicated and hardworking UCARE volunteer living in Kyiv. Marta
works closely with Tanya Hrytsiv, UCAREís employee who spends much of
her time working with our sponsored students. Tanya teaches English at
the Kyiv Mohyla Academia, so she brings not only her English skills, but
also a special empathy for our college students to her work. Thank you
so much to Marta and Tanya for all of their hard work, patience and
efforts on behalf of our wonderful students!
provided a small monetary gift of $50 to each graduating student. With
their graduation, the students will face new financial challenges and a
high cost of living in Kyiv, so they were grateful for this small gift.
But, if these smart, hardworking, talented students have challenges
now, imagine where they would be without the education which you helped
At this meeting, UCARE also presented a speaker
from the governmental center of employment, who advised the new
graduates about their job search. A Ukrainian psychologist, who has
supported UCARE by providing service free of charge, also presented a
workshop for the students. Our students come to us with a variety of
needs, which we do our best to address. UCARE also helps the students
locate free medical and dental care. As you may imagine, many of these
young people need such assistance.
We also have an
extraordinary UCARE graduate to tell you about! Darya Trushkina, who
was sponsored through UCARE, graduated and has provided many, many hours
of dedicated volunteer service to UCARE, has recently achieved some
amazing things. First, Darya earned a Fulbright Scholarship. As if the
Fulbright were not enough, Darya also earned a Muskie Scholarship.
Because the Muskie program better met her academic goals, Darya
accepted the Muskie programís offer and plans to study in the U.S.,
starting this coming fall. Darya will student the management and
administration of non-profit organizations. Upon completion of her
Masterís Degree, Darya plans to use her education and considerable
skills to assist orphans in Ukraine. Darya is such a splendid example
of our studentsí talents and abilities, as well as our hopes for all of
our graduates. We are grateful for her dedication to UCARE and will
proudly watch her progress in the years to come.
UCARE volunteers are busily working with Tanya Hrytsiv to plan a route
for this coming September. We expect the route, at which we plan to
visit some extremely needy orphanages, to take about two weeks. During
this time, we will travel with one or two sponsored college students.
In the past, we have found that traveling with these students not only
provides the college students with a useful experience, their presence
also enriches our trip and provides a true beacon of hope to all of the
orphans the students meet.
Without our saying a word, the
mere presence of these college students teaches the orphanage residents
that there is hope and that other orphans have managed to attend college
and succeed, so they can too. Last year, sponsored college students
spoke to older children at the orphanages we visited, urging them to
apply to college and telling them about the UCARE sponsorship program.
Many of these children had never before heard that college was an option
for them. To hear this from someone who grew up in similar
circumstances adds a whole new level of credibility to the message.
At the conclusion of our upcoming route, we plan to meet with more
sponsored college students, for interviews typically taking about an
hour. During these interviews, we try to get to know your students a
bit better, so we can tell you more about them. If we have interviewed a
student you sponsor, we already sent you a report about your student,
their letter to you and their photograph. Our goal is to interview each
student at least once, during their years of sponsorship. It is such
an honor and privilege to get to know these extraordinary young people.
Thank you so much for participating in their education, helping them
leave their orphanage years behind and transition to a brighter, more
hope filled future.
Margaret Lynch and Alexandra
Kosogof UCARE Scholarship Committee