West Liberty, W, Va. (WTRF) – Daria Shchoma is just a Freshman on the West Liberty tennis team. Not only is she far from home, but, she’s left her friends and family who live in the war-torn Ukraine.
“First time it was really hard. My friends sent me that they had to hide in the shelters while I’m studying and just hanging out with friends. Everything is fine but not I just accept it and it’ fine,” Shchoma said.
While it may have been tough, Shchcoma feels like she fits right in with her team.
“It’s fun. I have a lot of friends here and they’re all very supporting. I study my major and they like it so everything is fine,” Shchoma said.
What may have helped her transition into the program is that there is multiple international students on the team including her friend from Bolivia Natalia Valencia.
“It was amazing. She became one of my best friends on this journey and I think having Daria on the team was very nice, and, of course, everyone on the team, we’re like a family so it’s really nice to have people from every part of the world,” Valencia said.
“Everybody on our team plays a special role, so, you know, we really tried to emphasize the team aspect and this has been a difficult semester for her for lots of obvious reasons but we’re really thankful that our team has just rallied around her and she has a lot of teammates that are also international who share some of that same experience,” Gallagher said.