Five Ukrainian Exchange Alumni were recently named by the Kyiv Post, one of the most popular newspapers in the country, on their list of “30 Prominent Ukrainians Under 30.” Congratulations to these inspiring alumni!Alyona Shkrum, Lawmaker with the Batkivshchyna Parliamentary Faction (Traditional Public-Private Partnerships Program, 2016): A 28-year-old member of parliament from the 19-member Batkivshchyna Party is one of the youngest lawmakers in Ukraine’s parliament. However, that has not stopped her from achieving more than some of the parliament’s veterans. She has submitted more than 110 draft laws, including a law on the rights of internally displaced people. As head of the parliament’s civil service subcommittee, Shkrum has been leading reform of the civil service with the aim of cleaning up Ukraine’s cumbersome and corrupt state bureaucracy. Bogdan Globa, LGBT Activist (International Visitor Leadership Program, 2012): Globa heads Tochka Opory, Ukraine’s largest LGBT organization. Under his leadership, Tochka Opory carries out a number of projects such as the Corporate Equality Index, a yearly evaluation that encourages businesses to fight discrimination in the workplace. He is now working towards his next big goal: lobbying to introduce civil unions in Ukraine to allow same-sex couples to have a legal partnership.
Daria Kaleniuk, Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Action Center (Fulbright Foreign Student Program, 2010-2011): While studying on the Fulbright Program in the United States, Kaleniuk researched international legislative tools to fight corruption. Once she returned to Ukraine, she decided to implement these tools by establishing the Anti-Corruption Action Center in 2013. The Center helped Ukraine’s parliament design strong anti-corruption legislation. As she explains, “the responsibility for corruption should be unavoidable.”
Iryna Suslova, Lawmaker in Verkhovna Rada (Traditional Public-Private Partnerships Program, 2015): Suslova heads the parliamentary sub-committee on gender equality and non-discrimination, working on several laws that would give women more rights in politics, the military, and education. She takes part in education projects aimed at fighting gender stereotypes among Ukraine’s youth.
Yuliya Sychikova, Founder of Ukraine Global Scholars (Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program, 2004): Sychikova was just fourteen years old when she left her hometown to live in the United States for a year as part of the FLEX program. She spent the academic year studying in a high school in Iowa, an experience that influenced her life so much that she decided to continue her education at a U.S. university. After receiving a degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, she decided to return to Ukraine to give back. The result was Ukraine Global Scholars, an NGO which helps bright Ukrainian 8-11th grade students enroll in the best U.S. colleges and boarding schools and receive financial assistance to cover tuition and living expenses.