Anna Mazur

Article by: Vedad Ghavanini


The night before their big move, Anna and her family didn’t sleep. The trip took an entire day. When they finally arrived in Cleveland everything was so different. The humid air made her feel like she is at the beach. Anna and her brother were exhausted but her mom was just excited! Anna’s mom worked in Peace Core and she had traveled to the United States many times before. She has been the encouraging voice for her entire family to move to the United States.


Anna was born in Ukraine. When she finished high school she went to Poland to study Business Economics. Three months ago the opportunity came up for them to move to the United States Anna decided to quit school and move with her family. She studies English at school in Ukraine and her time in Poland enhanced her English language abilities, which helps her in transitioning to her life here. Anna’s seven-year-old brother had only gone to school half a year before they moved so he hasn’t had much of English training. He is enrolled for the 2014-15 school year but he is still learning to speak English.


Two weeks after their arrival, Anna’s host family introduced her to the International Institute of Akron (IIA) where Anna started her internship. Working here has entirely changed Anna’s life. Originally Anna was planning to transfer her points and continue studying Business Economics here. Her goal now is to switch to the International Studies and enter public service field. She believes that even though there is not much money in Humanitarian work but it is rewarding in so many ways.


Anna’s once peaceful country is now going through turmoil. Anna is from the Eastern part of Ukraine where all the fighting is going on. Her grandfather along with other family and friends are still living there. Anna and her parents check on them everyday to make sure they are OK. The thought of hearing a bad news about her grandfather keeps her awake some nights. But hope, prayers, and her work here at the IIA gives her a positive direction.

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