Friday, July 12, 2013

FRUA Awards Two 2013 Student Scholarships

For the fourth year, Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption, including neighboring countries, (FRUA) is pleased to announce the distributing scholarships through its FRUA Scholarship Program. FRUA has awarded two 2013 scholarships: $1,000 for a high school senior, and $1,000 for a post-secondary student. This is the only scholarship program created specifically for students adopted from the former Soviet bloc countries.

The FRUA 2013 Scholarship for the High School Senior was awarded to Chris McAttee, the son of Eric and Sally McAttee, members of FRUA-Wisconsin. The McAttee family adopted him from Russia in 1998, when he was not quite six-years-old. Chris, an honor student, has just graduated from Pius XI High School in Milwaukee and plans to attend the University of Wisconsin, with the goal of practicing pediatric medicine.

Chris was elected Circuit Judge and State Senator at Badger Boy’s State, Wisconsin. Chris has explored his heritage for the past ten years through Dnipro, a Ukrainian Folk Dance Ensemble, which performs at the annual FRUA Yarmarka. He joined the dance group in third grade, and now is an instructor of younger students.

David, Lantz, this year’s winner of the FRUA 2013 Scholarship Award for Post-Secondary Students, is the son of Nanci Lantz of Inverness Place, Cincinnati. He was two when he came from Russia in 1994 to live in the United States. His family was active in the Ohio Chapter of FRUA, INC when there was an active chapter there. An Eagle Scout, David found a good fit with the College of Mt. Saint Joseph in Cincinnati, where he is majoring in history. He serves as a college tour guide and is active in Drama, Pep Band, peer tutoring, and as a new student orientation leader.

The FRUA National Scholarship Committee follows a rigorous review process. This year, FRUA received 22 scholarship applications; seven from young men and 16 applications from young women. 2013 Scholarship Committee Chair Mara Kamen noted that “As in previous years, the applications were high-quality and the applicants are incredibly impressive young adults!”

The twenty two applicants were adopted from across the former Soviet Union, coming from Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova and Kazakhstan. Their family's memberships spread across FRUA chapters in Missouri, New England, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington DC / Maryland / Virginia, and Wisconsin, and we had unaffiliated membership applicants from Florida, Georgia and Ohio.

With a field of wonderful applicants, we wish that there could have been more than two winners. The fact is that we can continue this scholarship program due to the generosity of FRUA members and friends who donated to the FRUA year-end giving appeal. The number and size of the scholarships are dependent upon available funds. We noticed something this year that has not occurred before; a few applications, not included in the total above, came in from students whose families were not paid FRUA members. To be considered for the scholarships, the students must be both adopted from a former Soviet bloc country and the families of applicants must be current, paid FRUA member families. For anyone looking toward applying next year, please take note of this.

FRUA’s National Board of Directors Scholarship Committee looks not just at applicant's academic records, but at the challenges they have overcome, as well as their service to their communities. We congratulate our two scholarship winners, Chris and David, and are delighted to recognize the accomplishments and abilities of all our talented FRUA teens. Teens who did not receive a scholarship this year are invited to re-apply, for the post-secondary scholarship next year.

What our kids can accomplish with the love and support of families who get them the help they need to reach their potential, is absolutely amazing! As we adoptive families know; having a family that supports you, no matter what, can make all the difference in the world in the life of a child.

My Best Regards,
Jan Wondra
Acting Chair
Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption