Bring Ukrainian Students to the US

Mariia, Sviatoslav, and Olena are Ukrainian students who fled their homes with their mothers and siblings. Their fathers have stayed behind to fight in the war. They are living as refugees in Turkey and western Ukraine with nothing more than what fit in their backpacks when they left. Like all Ukrainian students, they are looking for safety and escape from the trauma of war - and a chance to continue their education.

These three teens have reached out to Maharishi School because they want to complete their high school in Iowa - a peaceful, safe environment. Maharishi School is a boarding and day school and has offered to give them free tuition.

Mariia, Sviatoslav, and Olena now need to find the funding for their room, board, supervision, and health insurance. Because their parents can no longer work and their family finances have evaporated, they will each need to raise more than $19,000 to make the move to the US. This covers the cost of a safe and comfortable boarding environment that is tailored to high school students and that already has other students from around the world. All of their meals would be covered and they would have supervision and guidance along with access to counseling services and support. We want to create a high school experience for them with some normalcy and peace during this traumatic time.

Mariia, Sviatoslav, and Olena are amazing kids: academic high achievers, contributors to their communities as volunteers, and participants in activities like aerial gymnastics, karate, and digital animation. All three speak multiple languages including English. We’d be lucky to have them in our community.

If they cannot come, they will continue to live in crisis for the foreseeable future.

Our goal is to raise at least $58,500. 100% of your donation will go directly to the Ukrainian Student Fund at Maharishi School and we will share their stories with you in periodic updates.

If we raise more than the $58,500 needed for all three students, we can support more students to come to Iowa. If we raise less, my husband and I will bring Mariia, Sviatoslav, and Olena into our home to offset the costs. We are empty-nesters who can offer a quiet, safe home. Without question, though, they would be best served by living in the dorms at Maharishi School surrounded by other students and supervised by professionals who can provide strong guidance as they unpack their trauma.

Thanks so much in advance for helping these kids. There are likely hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian students who need support and we can start with three.

Mariia wrote on why she wanted to come to Iowa, "I am ready to fight for my happiness." And isn't that what we all want: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


  • june moss
    • $500 
    • 2 yrs
  • Ronald Canaday
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • James Karpen
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Lindsay Oliver
    • $1,000 
    • 2 yrs
  • more direct donors!
    • $1,360 (Offline)
    • 2 yrs


Carol Chesnutt
Fairfield, IA

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