2019 Scholarship Recipient

Vitalik Walle

2019 All-Star Scholarship Recipient

Tell me your age, where you’re going to school, and what you’re majoring in?

I am 21 years old, and I’m going to Colorado Christian University. My major is undecided while I figure out what I want to do. I hope to decide next year.

How did you find out about the All-Star Scholarship?

I found out about it through our local church that we go to. They have an adoptive and foster care group and it was brought to my attention that there is a scholarship for youth adopted late in life.

Can you talk a bit about what this scholarship means to you and your education?

It means a lot to me! My parents and I decided we would split the cost for college. They would pay for room and board and I would pay for the rest. I was looking for scholarships so I wouldn’t have to take out a loan and I am so happy I have found this scholarship and got some funding for school.

Why did you choose to go to CCU?

I chose this after some discussion with my mom. I wanted to go to a Christian school and CCU is the only Christian university in Colorado. I looked at a few schools and got accepted into a few schools but ultimately chose CCU. I chose this school because here are fewer students and the community is much more engaged. I didn’t want to just be a number to my professors. I’ll have time to take advantage of getting to know my professors and the students. Furthering my academic and spiritual growth. Something the school said is that the professors truly care about the students succeeding which meant a lot to me.

Tell me about your family and your adoption story.

My dad is Jade is my dad and Kim is my mom. I have two sisters name Sophia and Zoe. My family adopted me from Ukraine on March 1 st , 2014, when I was 15 years old. I went to America through a program sponsored by the orphanage I lived in. It was a program where families sponsor kids for 4 weeks to host them in their home in the US.

I really liked America but during that time, I found out I had someone in Ukraine that was going to adopt me. At the end of the 4 weeks, Jade and Kim asked me if I wanted to stay but I said no because I thought someone in Ukraine was going to adopt me. When I returned to the Ukraine, I found the adoption was not going to work. I was so upset and realized I made a mistake. I contacted my American Parents and told them it hadn’t worked out with the woman in Ukraine and they said they wanted to adopt me and immediately started the paperwork to adopt me. I was so happy and thankful. I was nervous to live in a new country and learn a new language but I was excited to have a family.

Do you feel that being adopted gives you a different perspective on life than your peers?

Yes, especially because I was adopted from a different country, I lived in a different environment. Coming out of the orphanage was hard, learning new rules and new languages, making new friends. For sure, I am better able to handle some of the challenges in life because I have already been through such challenges. Learning in English in high school brought many hard times, but taught me how to ask for help and not be afraid to make mistakes. At first I was embarrassed to make mistakes when speaking in front of people, but now I know its ok.

What is your plan to accomplish during school?

I want to learn more academically, learn and grow more spiritually, and meet people that will be my lifetime friends. I am excited to find what I want to major in and have a great time at school. I know it will be hard but I’m ready to have a good time and make lots memories.

As part of the scholarship, you are paired with an Umpire family to serve as mentors. You were paired with Todd and Kelly Tichenor. You recently got to meet Todd at a Rockies game. Was that your first game? What was your visit like?

I haven’t had the chance to meet Kelly yet, but I got the privilege of meeting Todd. We had a great time at the game! I’m so thankful for the great support family that has been provided to me by Umps Care. It was such a great experience visiting Todd and the other umps in the Umpires waiting room and we loved the official MLB baseballs they gave us.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

In ten years I hope to be a police officer. Fighting crime and helping my city. I also want to have a family, be a good strong Christian, and stay in contact with UMPS CARE.