GoFundMe helps Ukrainian exchange student remain in Kansas City

A Ukrainian exchange student who came to KC in September is sticking around this fall thanks to generous donations.
Olga will stay in Kansas City and become a student at UMKC.
Olga will stay in Kansas City and become a student at UMKC.(KCTV5)
Published: Aug. 20, 2022 at 1:29 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A Ukrainian exchange student who came to Kansas City in September 2021 is sticking around this fall thanks to some generous donations.

Olga, a native of Kyiv, Ukraine, released a video Saturday morning thanking people for the support that will allow her to enroll at the University of Missouri-Kansas City this fall.

“Hi everybody. Thank you for your donations and your help,” she said in the video posted to YouTube. “You all are really generous people and I really really appreciate that.”

A GoFundMe with a goal of $41,888 to support Olga has received 50 donations totaling $5,727. Olga is still requesting more support needed to help pay for school books and health insurance.

In March, Olga told KCTV5 that she had planned to return to the Ukraine to attend college on a scholarship, but Russian air raids in her home of Kyiv made that unlikely. In June, with her visa set to expire, she applied for Temporary Protected Status which would grant her an extension of up to 18 months.

“I absolutely can talk to my parents and friends,” she said while awaiting a response to her TPS request, “and they still support me on what I’m doing here, what I’m trying to do in the future here, but of course they want me to go back.”

READ MORE: UMKC to offer more scholarships, in-state tuition to students from all 50 states

Now, with the support of the community she’ll begin studying at UMKC this fall.