Jing Li (Ukraine)


With a non-traditional journey from Peace Corps Ukraine to product innovation, Jing Li blends her unique skills and experiences to lay the foundation for the next generation of leaders through education, technology, sustainability, and diversity. She founded the nonprofit Project Ollie to provide Ukrainian educators and learners with humanitarian support and tools to thrive. She helped reduce food waste through IoT sensors, and she advocates for inclusion and diversity in the workplace as well as in the open water swimming community. She was a four-year letterwinner in swimming at Georgia Tech and the former president of the NorCal GT Alumni network.

Ukraine Fundraiser: Lyceum of Shevchenkove

The Lyceum of Shevchenkove, 2012

While I was in Ukraine, I spent 2 years teaching English to students from 3rd grade through 11th grade at the “Lyceum of Shevchenkove” (shown in the photo above). There are 2 schools in Shevchenkove and this school had earned the special designation of Lyceum for their focus in math and sciences. Here is an example of one of the projects that I did for World AIDS Day in 2012:

I am working with one of my former coworkers named Liliya Nicolaievyna, who was an English teacher from the Lyceum (3rd from left in the photo above). We are planning to distribute humanitarian supplies through the Lyceum. Liliya and I are working with Tatiana Victorevyna, the Director of the Lyceum (school principal) and a small network of volunteers in Kharkiv and western Ukraine. The Lyceum school teachers have not been paid any salaries since April, and many of their homes have been destroyed by the bombings and damaged during the war. The Director and Lyceum teachers have agreed to exclude support for anyone who had continued working for the school during the Russian occupation.
Here is a photo from 2010 of me with several of my Ukrainian teacher colleagues from the English department (Liliya is 2nd from the left, and my Peace Corps counterpart Alina Vladimirovna is 3rd from the right):

On the night of Nov 14th, the village of Shechenkove was attacked by Russian forces. Seven rockets flew in and the shells hit the village during the middle of the night. Tatiana, (Director of the Lyceum) shared that essentially only half of the school remains standing. The main entrance to the Lyceum is badly damaged and the senior building (where middle school/high school classes are held) has been almost completely destroyed, as shown in the photo below:

As of right now, no casualties have been reported – there are several who were wounded in the attacks on the village. The Director and teachers are currently in shock and terrified of additional attacks coming. The village has lost electricity, gas and internet connection again for the time being.
I am raising funds to support my former colleagues and friends from the Lyceum of Shevchenkove. I will work with Liliya, my English teacher coworker, and Tatiana, the Director of the Lyceum to get a prioritized list of urgently requested items. They will provide photo documentation of how the funds are spent on humanitarian items. Here is an example from last month, where we partnered together to send donated funds for medication, toiletries, and canned food/pantry staples. I will send out email updates to share our progress and outcomes from the fundraiser.

With many power outages and winter rapidly approaching, we will also be searching for some solar-powered lights and chargers along with other items for winter. Any and all support for the Lyceum of Shevchenkove would be greatly appreciated!


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