Jenny’s journey: 2024 Stein Family Scholarship winner

Resilience and determination. These two words are perfectly fitting for Evgeniia (Jenny) Kosatykh, the 2024 recipient of the Stein Family Scholarship. Kosatykh’s remarkable journey from war-torn Ukraine to the halls of Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach is an inspiring story of survival, adaptation, and the pursuit of dreams.

Arriving in the United States just nine months ago, Kosatykh sought safety and stability away from the conflict in Ukraine, joining her older sister in Virginia Beach. Adjusting to life in America presented significant hurdles, particularly the language barrier. Initially hesitant to speak and afraid of making mistakes, Kosatykh soon found her voice.

“The hardest part was the language, but now I love talking to people,” she says with a laugh. Her growing fluency in English and newfound confidence reflect her ability to overcome challenges and integrate into her new community.

Despite these challenges, Kosatykh maintained high academic standards, mirroring her success as a valedictorian in Ukraine. Her passion for science and health steered her toward a pre-med track at Old Dominion University, with a focus on dermatology. “I’ve always been fascinated by skin care and diseases,” Kosatykh explains.

In her application for the Stein Family Scholarship, Kosatykh reflected on her experiences during the war in Ukraine: “Since 2014, I have experienced hardships of war… I took constant curfews and lockdowns as an opportunity to study and work hard toward my goal of becoming a doctor.” She also assisted Jewish victims of the war, highlighting her commitment to helping others even as she dealt with personal challenges. “In a surprising way, I am grateful for being a child of war; it gave me the strength and motivation to pursue things in life I wouldn’t dare pursue otherwise,” she wrote.

Kosatykh’s resilience and inspiration to pursue a medical career is inherited from her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor and long-time hospital administrator in Ukraine (now retired). “My grandmother always said that knowledge is power. Her perseverance through adversity encouraged me to keep going, no matter the challenges.”

Kosatyh says she is grateful for the support she’s received from Tidewater’s Jewish community, highlighting the significant impact of the Stein Family Scholarship. This support has helped alleviate financial burdens and opened doors to opportunities.

As she prepares for college, Kosatykh’s outlook on the future is promising: “I don’t know what the future holds. I do hope it is only because it has not been created yet, and the best way to predict it is to invent it. It is our jobs as human beings to spread love and kindness by being there for each other and promoting peace not war.”

This year’s awardee of the Stein Family Scholarship will receive up to $20,000* per year, renewable for four years for a total of $80,000, contingent on maintaining a 3.0 GPA and good standing at the university. For more information, visit

*This is the last year of this award amount.