Tippecanoe County, Indiana (WLFI) — War in Ukraine rages at sea away from the WLFI viewing area. For him one of the newest members of our community, war feels much closer.
News 18 met a Ukrainian teenage girl far from home in Tippecanoe County.
“Honestly, the best time was when I was asleep, because when I die, I don’t feel anything. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking about before I went to sleep,” Kate Medvedenko, 17, told News 18. .
These were her thoughts as she hid from Russian air raids at her home in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded her homeland.
Medvedenko moved to Tippecanoe County in August after winning a scholarship to become an exchange student at Harrison High School. She said it was hard for her to be away from her parents and her sister, who are now in Kyiv.
“First of all, it’s always been a dream of mine, so they feel happy that I’m here.” And second, I’m safe. not.”
War trauma reared its head in places like the Harrison High School football game when the sound of fireworks sent her into a panic when Kate arrived.
“Her first night here was incredibly hard,” said Kate’s host mother, Andrea Gilkyson. “I didn’t realize it, but it’s on the flight path to the airport, so planes preparing to land usually fly over our house.”
Medvedenko said that she really likes living with her host mother, Andrea Gilkinson, and other host families.
“I feel so much better here because there’s life here, not just existence,” she said.
She plans to stay in America for college. For Kate, this year has been transformative in many ways.
“I’ve changed so much. I’m a different person,” she said.