Ukrainian student in the U.S. asking for help to pay college tuition

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(ABC 6 News) – A young Ukrainian woman is here in the United States going to college at a small school in Ohio where she met her boyfriend who is from Rochester.

Aidan Shue will move back to Rochester this summer to live with his family while he works at Mayo Clinic. But, his girlfriend Sasha Melnyk can’t move back to her hometown of Kyiv.

Melnyk is asking for help in order to keep paying her college tuition at Findlay University.

"Everything was normal the day before but all that happened and I was just… I still can’t believe it," Melnyk said.

She said she doesn’t know how long the war will last and that nowhere is safe right now.

Melnyk said she has always wanted to come to the U.S. for college and one of the main reasons she chose Findlay was because of the swim team. That is how she and her boyfriend Aidan Shue met.

"I’m glad that she can be with me and give her a safe place to stay while all of this is happening," Shue said.

Melnyk has a student visa but she is only allowed to work on her college campus meaning she can’t work in Rochester this summer to pay her college tuition. She said her parents both lost their jobs once the war in Ukraine started.

"If I can take care of her now and help her as much as I can and hopefully in the future she’ll be able to reunite with her family," Shue said.

"I want to help my family in the future because right now their financial situation in my family like all Ukrainian families is very bad and I just want to graduate, get a good job and help my family," Melnyk said. "Well, as long as war stopped I really want to go home."

Right now the Melnyk’s are saving money for food and rent in Ukraine. They are now living in the city of Lviv which is west of Kyiv and closer to the border of Poland. Sasha said it is still not very safe in Lviv.

"I don’t think that my family wants me to be in a dangerous place right now. They’re happy that I’m here and all I can do to help them is to pay for my education and just stay safe, study, swim and in the future I will help them financially," she said.

She hopes she can see her family soon.

"I just need help right now like really need help," she said.

To help Sasha, you can donate here.