Ukrainian exchange student in Tuscarawas County says it’s unsafe to return home, asking for help to attend college in U.S.


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A teenage girl from Ukraine who is an exchange student in Tuscarawas County needs your help right now as her home country remains under attack at the hands of Russia.

Anastasia Didenko is currently a student at Tuscarawas Central Catholic. At the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia war, we brought you a story about how it’s impacting her and her family – at the time she didn’t know if she’d be able to return to Ukraine. Now, she’s been told she can’t right now.

“As you all know, Ukraine has been under siege from Russia for the last few months,” a GoFundMe run by her host family stated. “This puts these students in a terrible situation. It is now unsafe for Anastasia to return home with the ongoing war.”

Anastasia is tasked with going to college here in America or a university in Europe, but funding is an issue.

“I am trying to do everything possible to attend university here,” she said. “I was accepted to OSU, but sadly, they can’t offer any financial help to me and tuition is very high.”

The goal set on the GoFundMe page is $80,000.

“Anastasia will graduate from Central Catholic this year and naturally her next step is college,” her host family said. “We want to help her in any way that we can but college/university is very expensive. We’re asking for our community’s help in sending her to further education no matter where she chooses to go.”

She said she fears her exchange-student program will send her home to the dangers in Ukraine if she doesn’t come up with the money to attend school.

“My program is going to send me home if I won’t figure out the situation with college within two-three weeks,” she said. “So I am trying to do all that can be done now and I’m hoping for the best. If I will go back home, I will have to take a gap year and go to college next year.”

To donate to the GoFundMe, visit here.