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student profile

Oleksii Chuiko

Oleksii Chuiko

Since Oleksii Chuiko was a small child living in Ukraine, he had dreams of living in America. Now, he is graduating from Cabrillo College with honors, and is excited about his future endeavors.

Oleksii was born and raised in Ukraine and he has also lived in Germany and Russia. From an early age, he was fascinated by technology and tried to teach himself everything he could. He recalls his first computer, the Commodore 64, and all of the amazing things it could do (at that time). He began college in Ukraine, but wanted to spend some time in the United States to make his childhood dream come true. 

Oleksii had always been fascinated with the fact that the U.S. was founded upon an experiment of democracy.  So, in 2006, he traveled to California and became a summer ride operator at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. He then utilized his computer and technical skills to help his local church. In his first years in this country, he wanted to see as much of the country as he could, so he also traveled extensively, ultimately visiting 26 states!

After four years in the U.S., Oleksii had a desire to improve his knowledge and make something meaningful of his life. He knew that in order to be successful, he needed to be better educated. He started at Cabrillo and chose political science as his major.

During Oleksii's second year at Cabrillo, he ran for and became Treasurer of the Student Senate. During his term, he helped the Student Senate create a balanced budget and even reinvest savings in programs such as the Emergency Loan Program. The following year, he became Vice President of the Student Senate and helped to make some significant and progressive changes to the Student Senate's Constitution and Bylaws. Oleksii is very impressed with how active the Student Senate has become in the last few years.

Oleksii is also a part of the Cabrillo Honors Program. This program gives students a chance to experience a smaller class environment with a focus on group collaboration, similar what students would experience at a private, liberal arts university. While at Cabrillo, Oleksii earned the "National Presidential Service Award" from the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honors Society. He also received first place for a writing contest from the English Department at Cabrillo – his entry described his experience growing up in Ukraine.

Those who know Oleksii have noticed that he is a ‘computer whiz.’ He believes that technology has and will continue to enable education in a dramatic way. He sees that the way students now study is so different than how they used to. Especially with the Internet, everything is at one’s fingertips. He believes that very soon, portable computers (like iPads) will completely replace textbooks. With this technology, a student can watch videos, experience 3D, and more easily learn the subject matter.

At the end of this semester Oleksii will graduate from Cabrillo College. He has applied to 32 universities, including top schools such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley and USC. He has received acceptance letters from UC Berkeley and USC among others, however he has not yet made a final decision on where he will transfer in the fall. He plans to pursue studies in political science, law, or international marketing, and he would like to eventually earn a Ph.D. in one of these disciplines.

For Oleksii, the U.S. and its wonderful citizens offered him so much opportunity that he wants to give back, by being involved in helping to facilitate a better relationship between the U.S. and Russia. In his opinion, there are many strategic alliances that the U.S. could be building with the Russian Federation, including in such areas as the space program, nuclear weaponry, and more. This is his goal and passion.

Oleksii's message to all current and prospective Cabrillo students:

"At Cabrillo, there are many different programs that you can become involved in, like the Honors Transfer Program and the Student Senate. These give you real-world experience, teach you how to lead and serve, and they look real nice on your resumé as well."

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