Alumna Feature Story: Alexa Kolosey
22 September 2022
Harford Community College alumna Alexa Kolosey didn’t let a war stop her from going to Poland to help distant relatives from her mother’s side of the family who were living in Ukraine.
In April, she traveled with others to Poland where she stayed for a week. She flew into Warsaw and drove to Medyka, which is adjacent to Lviv, after she and her group spent time at the border to assist at a refugee center. “While in Poland, my group and I helped at the border by going to the train station to give out food, hot beverages, and assistance with luggage or directions,” she said.
Alexa also helped translate for some of the medical volunteers who came to help. “Many medical professionals volunteered as part of the International Medical Relief group at the Warsaw refugee center. The volunteers came from all over the world, with many from the United States. As a result, these professionals required the services of a translator in order to communicate with the patients who had arrived at the refugee center for medical assistance. I met a mother and her young daughter while translating for a physician assistant from Texas. Her daughter had been feeling dizzy and feverish for a couple of days. When she explained her symptoms further, she also mentioned that her daughter had been hit by a landmine and had gashes on her legs. I assisted the PA in reapplying padding to the gashes in order to maintain a healthy healing process and also gave the daughter a small gift bag (she was the clinic's "favorite" patient, receiving special attention from all the medical professionals around her). As heartbreaking as this was, the mother and daughter's perseverance were inspiring. And meeting so many professionals eager to assist in this time of crisis was a wonderful experience.”
She added, “There was a sense of wariness that came with the trip, not knowing exactly how the situation would be, especially being so close to the border. Witnessing Polish army members training near the border added to the stressful atmosphere. The border and the train station near the border were brimming with individuals fleeing the war, and the ambiguity of their journeys added to the war atmosphere. Nevertheless, staying in Warsaw felt very safe, and that feeling of safety was also shared by the refugees there.”
Alexa’s relatives are still in Ukraine. She says they are in a safe location and have been keeping her family updated on their health and well-being. “They were able to come to Warsaw for about a week and meet us at the hotel where we were staying. We had a small reunion all together under safe circumstances.”
Alexa studied at Harford for a year prior to transferring to University of Maryland College Park this fall. She has volunteered with the Sierra Club, and currently paints for the Riverview Gallery. Her dream is to graduate with a bachelor's degree in English and Philosophy and attend law school to study medical law.
Former student Alexa Kolosey didn’t let a war stop her from traveling to Poland to help her Ukrainian relatives. She also assisted at a refugee center at the border. Alexa transferred to University of Maryland College Park this fall.