Our Mission

Ukraine Teaching Mission strives to serve hundreds of Ukrainian Catholic University students through an intensive, English immersion program called English Summer School (ESS). In spending a month of the summer dedicated to English instruction, our team of 12 teaching volunteers will go beyond language barriers or simply cultural exchange to improve language levels and English understanding. Volunteers will live in community with students, which is conducive to both learning and prayer. All will partake in daily Ukrainian Catholic Liturgy, praise and worship, and gain invaluable experiences in the world of education and relational ministry with other young adults.


Our Team 

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Caroline Reel - Mission Leader

СЛАВА ІСУСУ ХРИСТУ! If you told me a year ago that leaving the war-torn country would be my hardest goodbye I would have never believed you. In fact, this mission has deeply changed the way I encounter people, live and instruct. I’ve worked tirelessly to bring the spirit of St. Francis to Ukraine’s English language learners by preparing sixteen FUS students and alumni to teach alongside me this summer!

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Alexandra Gonzalez - Mission Leader

My name is Alexandra Gonzales - a senior Journalism major at Franciscan University. Here are some fun facts about me: My Texas pride is as big as the state itself, I hope to open a coffee shop someday, My favorite Old Testament passage is Jeremiah 20, and I love a good glass of almond milk. I cannot wait to give back to the students at in Ukraine, gain a new perspective, and continue to grow in compassion.

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Audrey Allman

My name is Audrey Allman and I am a senior Middle Childhood Education major at Franciscan University of Steubenville. My time in college has been filled with so many blessings, from incredible friendships to unique opportunities. I truly believe that the opportunity to assist ELL students at Ukrainian Catholic University will continue to stretch and increase my capabilities as an educator and deepen virtue in my heart.

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Cassandra Hoene

My name is Cassie Hoene. I’m a junior English and Education major at Franciscan University. I love camping and hiking, as well as curling up with a good book or watching a movie with some friends. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. I believe that teaching is such an amazing way to make a difference in the world, one student at a time. I am ecstatic and incredibly blessed to be given the opportunity to serve Ukrainian students through the ministry of teaching.

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Hannah Donnell

Hi, I’m Hannah Donnell and I am aSenior Nursing Major with a minor in Biology. I am from New Orleans, Louisiana. From the first second I heard about this opportunity to serve on Mission in Ukraine, I was struck by how this is such a beautiful chance to serve and love. I am probably most excited just to meet everyone and to share in the beauty of the universal church.

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Martha Egan

Hello! My name is Martha and I am majoring in English and Theology. I am passionate about education and love both the experience of learning new things, as well as the joy of being able to pass on what I have learned. I believe that I best share my love for learning and love for Christ by encountering those around me. I am so excited about Ukraine for the opportunity to encounter a new culture and learn from the beauty of the people, as well as share the beauty of my experience with them.

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Martin Wolk

I am a Political Science and Philosophy double-major at Franciscan University and I’m very excited to serve in Ukraine this summer because of the opportunity this will give me to witness to my faith in a place where the faith has gone through so many trials. I feel particularly called to serve in Eastern Europe because of my own family’s background. I live in Connecticut but am originally from Poland, my number one hobby is mountain hiking, and my favorite food is peanut butter oatmeal.

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Samantha Pare

My name is Samantha Pare; I am a junior biology major with a minor in exercise science at Franciscan University of Steubenville. if you had asked me a few months ago what I would be doing this summer, I would have never imagined telling you that I would be traveling to Ukraine to teach at. I love adventure and the possibilities of trying new things. I’m not sure what to expect, but I do know for sure that it will be a rich and fulfilling encounter with the people of Ukraine and my fellow volunteers.

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Zachariah Zdinak

My name is Zachariah “Zach” Zdinak. I am currently enrolled as second year Graduate student in the School of Library & Information Science (SLIS), at Kent State University (KSU). I graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS), in May 2016, with a Double-Major in History and Political Science, and with a Minor in Legal Studies. After I graduate in May 2018 with my Masters, I plan on starting off my career at a small town museum in Wellsburg, West Virginia; at the National American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor (ADBC) Museum & Educational Research Center. At 23 years old, I hope to use the skills I’ve learned in the last six years of college, to start a long career working in museums and in the digital archives. My lifelong dream, would be to end up at a Presidential Library & Museum, or the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, doing archival digitization, or doing scholarly work in the museum field; which would allow me to travel and write, which is my true passion. I also use to dream when I was a child of becoming a Senator, or a Country Music Singer (very different fields!). I live in Stratton, Ohio, along the Ohio River on State Route 7. I have a beautiful mother (Elizabeth) and father (Paul) who would do anything for me, and my hope is that one day my sister (Chelsea) and I become just as great a parents as they have been to us. 
In my short life, I have made big steps on this earth. In Fall 2014, I was blessed to be able to travel to Gaming, Austria, and live in Europe for four months (traveling to 11 countries and over 45 plus cities). At the beginning of this year, in March 2017, I travelled to London & Oxford for over ten days of museum studies, where I was able to learn the history of how museums came about and the work that goes into them (inside and out). Next summer, I hope to travel to Ukraine as a volunteer member of a wonderful group of young adults, to teach English at the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU). It has been a blessing to have been given the opportunity to obtain an interview and to have been chosen to be a member of this fantastic group. I hope to take my knowledge of American/World history with me to the Ukraine and teach these young adults all that I can. I want to thank you for your interest, and for your support (financially and spiritually). Please keep us all in your prayers as we start this long and prosperous journey to change the world, one person at a time. Thank you and God Bless.

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MaryAnne Reed

My name is MaryAnne Opal Reed. It is such a pleasure to meet you! I am currently enrolled at Franciscan University as a local commuter and am in pursuit of a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education/Special Education. I have an eight year old nephew, Kaelan, who calls me Aunt Man and is the light of my life; he is my reason towards a career path in education. Just this June, I gained another loving nephew, Calvin, and look forward to watching him grow and learn just as I did with my little Kaelan. I am one proud Aunt! I am the youngest daughter of Dr. Mark and Kimberly Reed and the baby ‘seester’ of three older sisters; Emily Lohrer, Heather Reed, and Megan King. My family and I come from Richmond, Ohio, a small town about 15 minutes away from campus, where we live on top of a big hill in the country. Additionally, I am engaged to my high school sweetheart, Zachariah Zdinak, and plan to be married on October 5th, 2019. If I were to sum up who I am, it would be these five things: 1) obsessed with cats, 2) enjoys learning a new creative craft about every month, 3) Coldplay/Chris Martin fan since the age of five, 4) warmly appreciates a hot cup of tea, and 5) admires Anne Shirley from the story “Anne of Green Gables”.
In the Fall of 2016, exactly a year ago, I was in Gaming, Austria, where I studied abroad for four months. Just like many of my colleagues, this journey has changed me, body and soul. I met new friends, I experienced new cultures, learned more about myself, and gained a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith. Now, I am part of an amazing team that will be journeying to Lviv, Ukraine and am still in shock that this is actually happening! What is even better is that I am given the opportunity to teach English at the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) and am honored to be able to further my experience in educating others! I very much look forward to be apart of such a great organization and want to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for helping my team and I make this trip possible. May God Bless you all and shine His light upon you.

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Emily Feldkamp

My name is Emily Feldkamp. I’m a senior Communication Arts major with a Film Studies minor. I love any kind of art, especially film and animation. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to go to Ukraine and teach the students an art class! After hearing about Caroline’s experience in Ukraine, I can’t wait to meet the students and serve them, as well as see how they impact my own life and teach me about their beautiful culture. I want to express my thanks for your financial support and for giving me the ability to serve, and know that it is going to a beautiful cause. I ask for your prayers for my team and I as we prepare to go, and I will definitely pray for you as well. God bless you!

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Salvador Brambila