PARSIPPANY, N.J. – In 2019 – during its 125th jubilee year – the Ukrainian National Association established the UNA Heritage Scholarships in order to underscore the UNA’s longstanding role in the Ukrainian community.
Five scholarships were awarded by the UNA Scholarship Committee for the 2019-2020 academic year. The students chosen were recognized for their academic achievements and Ukrainian community involvement.
Both undergraduate and graduate students, enrolled full- or part-time in colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, are eligible for the new scholarships. Applicants must be UNA members for at least two years (as of the deadline for submission of applications, in this case, September 1, 2019) and must have a life insurance policy of at least $5,000 (Term Life policies are excluded).
The announcement of this new fraternal benefit appeared in the UNA’s recent summertime mailing to all its members, and applications were available by calling the UNA Home Office or visiting the UNA website.
The UNA Scholarship Committee announced the following as recipients of the 2019 UNA Heritage Scholarships.
Chloe Diakiwsky (UNA Branch 161) of Ambridge Pa., has a passion for music and the arts, and is a sophomore studying at Berklee College of Music. She is very active in various projects and programs of the youth group at Ss. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church and helped raise funds for her church’s Bell Tower Restoration Project. She is also an acolyte at her parish.
Mark Kachai (UNA Branch 171) of Pittsgrove, N.J., is a sophomore studying biology at Rowan University. He is interested in medicine and helped coordinate a relief effort that sent medical and surgical supplies for injured soldiers and civilians in eastern Ukraine. He is active in Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization and is a volunteer with the Ukrainian Federation of America.
Alexa Kolakoski (UNA Branch 362) of Pittstown, N.J., is majoring in biology at Northeastern University. Her goal is to become a doctor of veterinary medicine. She attended Roma Pryma Bohachevsky Ukrainian Dance Camp at Soyuzivka for six years and was a student of the Iskra Ukrainian Dance Academy for 13 years. At Northeastern, she is a member of the Ukrainian Cultural Club.
Michael Kulycky (UNA Branch 465) of Dorval, Quebec, is a freshman at Marianopolis College, where he is majoring in pure and applied science. A member of the Ukrainian Youth Association, he has worked as a life guard and counselor at the organization’s Veselka camp. He is also a member of the Troyanda dance ensemble and recently formed a Ukrainian dance band called Chaban i Vovk.
Gregory Serba (UNA Branch 173) of Philadelphia is studying toward his M.B.A. in finance at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, while working full-time as a software implementation consultant. For many years, he was a tennis player and counselor at Soyuzivka Heritage Center’s Tennis Camp. As the grandson of an UPA member, he is involved in the work of the Society of Veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in the U.S.A.
The UNA has a long history of supporting students in their academic studies, and the first scholarships were small stipends awarded to promising students to help them attain a better future. A formal scholarship program for student members was established in 1964.
Earlier this year, the UNA announced the recipients of its regular scholarships and student awards for 2019-2020. Special sections featuring the students recognized by the UNA’s scholarship program appeared in September in both The Ukrainian Weekly and Svoboda.
More information about UNA Heritage Scholarships may be obtained by calling the UNA’s Fraternal Department at 800-253-9862, ext. 3035. Updated information for the 2020-2021 academic year will appear in the “Our Benefits” section of the UNA website at unainc.org.
In addition to scholarships, the UNA offers a number of options for both parents and grandparents to assist with handling the cost of higher education for their children. Most popular are endowment policies that provide insurance protection and at maturity allow students to use the funds for college expenses. In addition, the UNA offers a Coverdell Education Savings Account that allows up to $2,000 per year to be placed in an account that will grow tax free. Withdrawals from the account can be made up to age 30 for a student’s qualified educational expenses.