In 1993, Olesia was sent to the U.S. by her mother to escape political turmoil in the Soviet Union. Filled with the hope of creating a new life for herself, she held several odd jobs and focused on learning English. She was adjusting reasonably well to her new life up until she started experiencing complications while pregnant with twins. Her daughters were born with an autoimmune disorder and she was forced to become a stay-at-home mother. Olesia’s children’s ailment along with her husband’s pending deportation took a toll on the family’s spirit and finances. Determined to make a better life for her family, she decided to return to school. Olesia enrolled at LaGuardia Community College to pursue a degree in Global Public Health.

“I hope to use my future studies to encourage allergy-awareness, and to highlight the importance of dietary needs as well a how to prevent cross-contamination to create a safe environment.”