Former Valley exchange students impacted by Russian invasion

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Horrifying images of the Russian invasion in Ukraine are hitting home for some in the Valley who grew close to exchange students from that nation, like Kate Trembak, who is living through what she calls a disaster.

"Like they're shooting every minute so people cannot get anything, and we haven't heard from my husband's dad for three or four days already Kate Trembak, Ukraine resident.

She tells Action News she is safe for now but prepared to move again.

Kate spent a year living in Tulare.

Adina Escarsega was the state coordinator and placed students throughout Central California.

She's been in communication with six students but can't find the rest.

They spent a whole year here, and they were so excited to go back to their countries and enjoy some of the freedoms we have in the United States," said Escarsega.

Adina's son Tory just returned from a trip to Poland visiting a former exchange student who is Ukrainian.

They jumped into action to help refugees.
"I would help and get them from the train station. We'd buy them food and everything. The Polish people helped out a lot. Train tickets were free. They had areas set up with food," said Tory Escarsega.

Tory says it was an eye-opening experience seeing a part of history unfold.

Action News spoke with Karoline Kuzmocza, who went to school at Immanuel in Reedley.

She is in Poland and has family members in Ukraine.

The 18-year-old says she is looking ahead to better days.

"Of course, no one is going to give us. You know all the people who died back in all the cities and the buildings and the hospital and the children back. However, we hope it will change for better," said Karoline Kumocza.

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