The Clackamas print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1989-2019, April 16, 1997, Page 4, Image 4

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April 16, 1997
? y cJ] U /
Former Ukrainian succeeding at Clackamas
“I wasn’t sure if I should go to
high school or get my GED. There
were some people saying I
Clackamas student Katya Antipin shouldn’t go to high school. ‘You
was 16 years old when she left her almost graduated there so you
home in Ukraine, Russia to make a should just study for your GED’ ,”
journey that would affect her life for­ Antipin explained.
began attending
School in Decem­
In Ukraine, people went about
their daily lives while the Antipin ber 1993. It was difficult for her;
family packed a few belongings and but there was another Ukrainian girl
boarded a plane for the United States. there, so she wasn’t alone.
“I didn’t speak [any English]. I
Antipin’s family came to Oregon
could say a couple of words,
looking for a better life.
“My relatives lived here seven and maybe, and, maybe, if you talked
a half years ago. After they moved real slow and used simple words. I
we wrote letters to each other, and did have English in my school like
my parents were thinking about do­ you have Spanish. I had it for two
hours a week, but I didn’t pay to
ing that [moving to the United States]
too. There was nothing else they good attention to that. I had to go
would be able to give us [children] to regular classes and listen to En­
there. They were not sure we would glish all the time, and I had to do
be able to go to school after high my homework,” Antipin explained.
“My counselor interpreted all of
school,” Antipin said.
courses I had in Ukraine and
In Russia, and other countries, not
found out how many hours I had
just anyone can attend college.
“It’s not enough to pass entry and if they could give me credit for
school,” Antipin explained. “To get those classes. So they took my sci­
into school you had to take a test. If ence and geography classes and
you pass, you go; and if you don’t gave me credit for them,” she said.
Time went by and Antipin earned
[pass], you don’t go. It’s a little bit
different here I guess. You had to
didn’t know where to go after
pay first, and it was an amount that
I was afraid to continue be­
people usually couldn’t afford.”
It was a long, detailed process for cause my English wasn’t perfect yet
the Antipin family to move to Or­ and I still had to work on it. I didn’t
know how to move on. Where
should I go? Many
“When my relatives said
people were saying that
that they were able to get
I should go to a four-
the application for us and
year school and get a
that they would be able to
I liked math,
help us get here, we said - people are'
so my math instructor
‘if it works out, we’ll go’.
willing to
suggested Lewis and
So we started thinking
” said Antipin.
about it, getting the infor­
kill each '
tried to
mation and filling out the
other just to get into Lewis and
application. It was two
Clark; but she had not
get on a
years before we got every­
taken her SAT and did
thing done. It was like a
plane and
not have her other pa­
ready, so she
missed the application
“When we went to Mos­
cow for our interview, we
She was still de­
didn’t have any relatives
Katya Antipin
to go to
there. We stayed in a
met with
church with those fold-up
her counselor and
beds. It was kind of bad.
learned she was eli-
It was two days and three
many scholarships.
nights. When we went home we got
awarded two scholar­
the results that we were able to go,”
ships: the Streeter Memorial Schol­
she said.
Her family sold everything they arship and the Harold Taylor dis­
had except some clothes, dishes and trict scholarship.
“At that point I knew that if Lewis
pictures that they would need when
Clark didn’t work, I had an op­
they got to Oregon.
“Anything we couldn’t sell or tion," she said.
When Antipin found out she
didn’t have time to sell, we gave to
work while a student, she
our friends and relatives,” said
an organization to help her
find a job. Her first job was at
“In Moscow our plane was late.
Not just two hours, but six or seven McDonalds and she worked there
hours. When they finally announced for about a year. Antipin currently
we were leaving, you couldn’t imag­ works at Consumers National Bank
ine those people running and push­ in Beaverton.
“I got that job with the help of
ing to get on the plane. It was em­
other Russian people. At the
barrassing to me. I was ready to cry.
’s more flexible. I work five
It seems to me that it’s so hard there,
day three days a week. I
that people are willing to kill each
job. It’s a little far away
other just to get on a plane and move
but it’s worth it,” Antipin ex­
out,” Antipin said.
On Oct. 22, 1993 Antipin’s family plained.
Antipin’s father has been work­
arrived in Oregon. They stayed with
at Phoenix Gold for two years.
relatives for the first couple of
months. Antipin was the personal in­ He speaks some English, but works
terpreter for her parents and younger in a company where other Russian
brother. She was needed especially people work so he is able to com­
municate in Russian.
for medical appointments.
Antipin’s mother was recently
In Ukraine Antipin had only one
off from her job, so she is cur-
year left of high school.
Feature Editor
rently going to school to learn En­
glish and study for a two year pro­
fessional degree like accounting or
Liza, Antipin’s sister, is 12 years
old and attends sixth grade at
Whitcomb Elementary School in
Milwaukie. Liza speaks English very
well. Antipin says her sister is lucky
because she regularly ice skates at
Clackamas Town Center.
In August 1995 Antipin’s brother
Nicholas was born. He was a wel­
comed surprise.
Antipin has noticed many differ­
ences between Russia and the United
States, especially in the schools.
JON ROBERTS / Clackamas Print
“We don’t have separation be­
“I think I will continue to major
tween elementary and high school,
in math; and I think I want to add
maybe some separation between
Russian to it, to add more flexibil­
floors. For example: all of the stu­
ity. I’ve thought about teaching,
dents between the first and the fifth
maybe, or, if I do Russian, maybe
grade would be on the first floor and
interpreting. I don’t
the third floor would
want to think about a
maybe be high school age.
career. I think
We go through all of
it will be more clear to
H'v just
school with the same
me when I finish
people. You know every­
school” Antipiri ex­
body in your class,” said
Antipin has re­
could really
She still writes letters to
ceived a lot of help since
her friends from school
she has liyed in the
and hopes to go back to
Ukraine someday and visit
’m really grate­
them. It’s too expensive
ful and thankful to
for her friends to come
people for all the help
I’ve gotten here. I’m re­
“There is such a big gap
ally thankful to the high
between the poor and the
school for all the help I
Katya Antipin
rich. There were some
got from the counselors
people in my school who
and instructors,” she said.
could go to foreign coun­
“It’s just amazing
tries on vacation, and there
how people could really
are some who could only-
understand what I was going
dream about it,” Antipin said.
through. Just from listening they can
At Clackamas, Antipin is currently
understand. It’s difficult to explain
taking 17 credits, working toward a
everything, I guess, and it’s really
degree in math. She hopes to trans­
important to me to have somebody
fer to Lewis and Clark next year.
to ask for advice,” Antipin said.
Katya Antipin
is a math
major at
She hopes to
transfer to
Lewis and
Clark College
next year.
Katya Antipiri,
former Rus-
citizen who is
currently a
student at
Recipient of
the Streeter
and the Harold
Taylor District
■Don't forget"
■ ____________ R
April 21-
April 25
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