Sergey Ragulin is a Ukrainian refugee who moved with his family to Minnesota in 2022. He arrived shortly before the start of last school year, fleeing a war-torn Ukraine and settling into a new life in Minneapolis filled with uncertainty, hope, and a desire to make a safe and secure home for his family.
Through the supportive efforts of the faithful communities at Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, Sergey was quickly introduced to John Paul II Catholic School for his two children, Ilya, then 11, and Veronika, 5. “I liked the atmosphere, the people, and the attitude toward children,” he says. “I also like that the children could grow and learn with God.” True to the original mission of Catholic education, John Paul II has been welcoming immigrant students since its founding in the 1800s. Today, English is the second language for 76% of its K-8 student population.
As refugees, Sergey wasn’t in a position to shoulder the financial burden of a private education, so the principal of John Paul II connected him with the Aim Higher Foundation. “Because we had just arrived, we did not have the funds to afford a school with a good education and security,” he says. “Aim Higher provided help in this regard. We can be with God and believe in the best!”