My name is Yakiv. I am nineteen years old, and I am a resident at Mutual Housing at River Garden. I have lived here since 2003. My family and I moved to the United States from Ukraine when I was four years old. My parents had the opportunity to move to the United States for a better future, so my siblings and I could have a better education, and so they could make a living to support us. In Ukraine, there are virtually no jobs available to support your family. Most people go to other countries around Ukraine to make money for months at a time to bring back to their family, which is very difficult.
Our first home was in the Arden-Arcade area and my dad worked as a maintenance technician at the apartment community. We met a lot of other Slavic families in the apartments. We moved back to Ukraine for a year, and then back to Sacramento and lived with my grandparents. My parents, grandparents, six siblings, and I were sharing a 3- bedroom apartment, and it was pretty crowded.
We were referred to Mutual Housing at River Garden and now my family and I live in a five-bedroom townhome. I am thankful for a diverse community of both Slavic families and many other cultures. My favorite part about growing up here is getting home from school and playing sports with all of the other kids. We would play football, hockey, freeze tag and other games. I got to know the other kids and learn where they came from. I am also supported by after-school programs onsite.
I currently am a student at Sac State, and am interested in the medical field. I am hoping to go into the Nursing Program, but I am not sure yet. I am also a choir member, play rec-team volleyball and work part-time at Smart and Final. Almost every Friday, I am in the computer lab at River Garden working on homework. It is a nice place to study and work on assignments. I am very thankful that my parents have provided me with the opportunity to be successful in life, and be a good community member. Growing up in this community has given me a foundation for the rest of my life.