Sacramento offers college admissions tests for Ukrainian teens

As the fighting continues six months into the Russian war against Ukraine, Ukrainian teenagers forced from their country still have to worry about what’s next for their lives and education. To help with that, Sacramento and New York City are offering the college admissions tests needed to apply to universities. They are the only two cities in the country providing that service. “It was the middle of the school year. They were ready to go to school the next morning and it never happened,” said Dmytro Kushneruk, consul general of Ukraine.The was completely disrupted the lives of everyone, including teenagers, who already face a lot of uncertainty in high school.”Every day we heard lots of bombs, lots of shootings and it was kind of hard for us,” said Nikita Lebed, 16, of Kyiv. He said it’s tough enough being a teenager, let alone needing to escape was in your own country. He left with his family but the war forced him to leave behind his friends.”I’m so sad with the situation. I want to take with me with my friends,” Lebed said. “Here is kind of harder for me because I don’t have any friends.”Victoria Balakshyna, 17, now lives in San Jose with her aunt, Iryna Duhrin.At one point, the family didn’t know if they’d make it out alive.”She still has fear, especially with loud sounds but she is glad she is here and she tries to learn English,” Duhrin said.The Ministry of Education decided the young victims of war need stability and made the test available at Sacramento’s Ukrainian American House.”This provides them the opportunity to continue to leading a normal life, as if it was before Feb. 24 when Russia started this war,” Kushneruk said. Lebed, who lives in Reno said he wants to attend college in Nevada.Balakshyna said she’ll study in California but thinks it’s important for the youth return to Ukraine to offer hope to the country.”The economy now will be very low because a lot of people left and will need to build it up,” she said. “It will be great for young people to come back and bring that knowledge to our country.”The 19 students taking the exams arrived in Rancho Cordova from Ohio, Colorado, Washington, Nevada and various California cities. They will get their test results Aug 21.

As the fighting continues six months into the Russian war against Ukraine, Ukrainian teenagers forced from their country still have to worry about what’s next for their lives and education.

To help with that, Sacramento and New York City are offering the college admissions tests needed to apply to universities. They are the only two cities in the country providing that service.

“It was the middle of the school year. They were ready to go to school the next morning and it never happened,” said Dmytro Kushneruk, consul general of Ukraine.

The was completely disrupted the lives of everyone, including teenagers, who already face a lot of uncertainty in high school.

“Every day we heard lots of bombs, lots of shootings and it was kind of hard for us,” said Nikita Lebed, 16, of Kyiv.

He said it’s tough enough being a teenager, let alone needing to escape war in your own country. He left with his family but the war forced him to leave behind his friends.

“I’m so sad with the situation. I want to take with me with my friends,” Lebed said. “Here is kind of harder for me because I don’t have any friends.”

Victoria Balakshyna, 17, now lives in San Jose with her aunt, Iryna Duhrin.

At one point, the family didn’t know if they’d make it out alive.

“She still has fear, especially with loud sounds but she is glad she is here and she tries to learn English,” Duhrin said.

The Ministry of Education decided the young victims of war needed stability and made the test available at Sacramento’s Ukrainian American House.

“This provides them the opportunity to continue to leading a normal life, as if it was before Feb. 24 when Russia started this war,” Kushneruk said.

Lebed, who lives in Reno said he wants to attend college in Nevada.

Balakshyna said she’ll study in California but thinks it’s important for the youth return to Ukraine to offer hope to the country.

“The economy now will be very low because a lot of people are left and will need to build it up,” she said. “It will be great for young people to come back and bring that knowledge to our country.”

The 19 students taking the exams arrived in Rancho Cordova from Ohio, Colorado, Washington, Nevada and various California cities. They will get their test results Aug 21.

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