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"I hope to work with immigrants and refugees by helping them with the issues they face every day, just as my neighbors and my family faced issues when we first arrived in the United States."
Masha Marchevsky came to the United States "afraid of everything." A young Ukrainian immigrant, she was faced with a new language and new customs. But with help from relatives, friends and strangers, she quickly assimilated into American society. "While I lived side by side with refugees and immigrants from Mexico, Laos, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Korea and China, I was learning not only the culture of the United States, but also about several cultures surrounding me and the difficulties each culture faced in their attempts to assimilate," she says.
From these struggles, Masha decided she wanted to help immigrants and refugees adjust to life in the United States. She volunteered with community service organizations and helped teach English to immigrants. At Macalester College, Masha serves as the immigrant and refugee issue area coordinator where she helps organize awareness activities around campus, facilitate English as a Second Language seminars, and coordinate tutoring opportunities.
Masha hopes to become a lawyer and represent immigrants and refugees entering the United States. She plans to receive her bachelor's degree in history and philosophy in December 2003.
Undergraduate Transfer Scholar
South Dakota State University