KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Friday Marked one year since Russia invaded Ukraine.

One Ukrainian student was studying abroad when Russia’s war started. So for a year, she has been stuck here in the United States.

Olga is 5,409 miles from her home but made one Brookside neighborhood home for now.

“I would have never imagined that I would stay here for so long,”Olga said.

What started as a high school study abroad program quickly changed when Russian war tanks and fighters crossed into Ukraine, forcing her friends to fight in a war for the dignity, safety, and security of their nation.

“Because of the war, I feel like every single Ukrainian feels like that year was the longest in their lives,” Olga said.

When FOX4 initially told you about Olga, she was uncertain what would be next.
Fast forward nearly 365 days, and she started college at UMKC, where she achieved a 4.0 in her first semester.

Olga has also started her first job, all while not being able to see her family.

“The toughest part for me was being away from our family, especially when we didn’t plan that. It wasn’t a decision to go away for so long,” Olga said.

Olga says she is amazed by the will of the Ukrainian people, as her host family is amazed by her strength through it all.

“It’s been good, it has been good for our family, it has been good for our kids,” Jeph BurroughsScanlon, Olga’s host Dad said.

Now, the trilingual student wakes up every day with more hope than she had yesterday, taking it one day at a time.

“Life is going, I’m super busy every day, working, studying, trying to manage life,” Olga said.

She’s not only a star in the classroom, but she has just gotten her driver’s license.