4.7 Million Refugees
Just Like Us
Our names are Mihir Relan and Bianca Juarez. We are 10th-grade students at DeBakey High School for Health Professions in Houston, Texas. We are exceptionally fortunate to live in a secure and harmonious society with our siblings and our parents. Our everyday concerns are trivial tasks, such as household chores, and most of our weight is on our success in school.
Maksym Kosar is a 17-year old from Ukraine. His educational aspirations were put on hold after his father took him to safety in Poland and left him alone when the war began. He found his way to New York City, where he is now enrolled in St. George Academy. Just for his education, he was forced to flee from his home, left alone in a foreign country, and had to make his way to the United States by himself. Even now, he worries every day about his homeland and his father, who is still in Ukraine. No teenager should have to go through this. Let us do our part in helping youth like Maksym.
Illia Ishchenko-Leshchynskyl is a 14-year old from Ukraine. After Russian troops began invading and bombing his city, his parents decided to send him abroad. He fled Ukraine alone by bus and arrived in the United States and stays with his under-resourced aunt. Illia misses his family, whose grandmother, mother, and younger brother are in Berlin, but his father is still in Kyiv. He remains in contact with his family through the phone while trying to adjust and maintain a normal teenage life. Illia should not have to be separated from his family and worry for their well-being. Let us do our part in helping youth like Illia.
Alex (unknown last name) is a 15-year old from Ukraine. When his town, Bahkmut, Ukraine, was bombed by Russians, he and his family fled the country. His father remained in Ukraine to fight the Russians. Alex and his family are now in Germany, where they are trying to adjust to the new language and new country. He says that living in Germany "makes me appreciate what teenagers everywhere that don’t have to face war have, it makes me grateful for the country that we live in, it makes me grateful for peace.” Alex is constantly in contact with his father, hoping he is safe. Let us do our part in helping youth like Alex.
Our Personal Sacrifices
Mihir: The personal sacrifice I am making to support Ukrainian refugees is pledging my salary from chess coaching of $50 per week to nonprofits and charities.
Bianca: The personal sacrifice I am making to support Ukrainian refugees is donating 50% of my salary from modeling coaching of $100 per week to nonprofits and charities.
You Can Too!
As a teen, there is a multitude of ways to raise funds and awareness. For example, spending time mowing or power washing a neighbor's lawn is a great way to earn money, and by advertising it as raising money for Ukraine, more people are likely to oblige your services. Additionally, you can make a sacrifice by giving up something of value to you, something that you think of as a treat to yourself. For example, you can give up your weekly latte at Starbucks or popcorn at a movie theater and other little things like that. This way, you are donating a small amount of money consistently to reach a larger goal. Any donation, no matter how small, will help the refugees from Ukraine.