Olga Sologub bubbles into a room and greets people with infectious enthusiasm. On the surface, Olga seems like a normal Georgetown student. She lives in Village A, competes in Ballroom Dancing, and works as the dean’s assistant in Financial Aid and majors in Accounting. This unassuming appearance makes her story all the more stunning.
Olga emigrated from Kazakhstan to the U.S. with her mother when she was nine and spoke no English. Her father had moved here a year before that to get his footing in Albuquerque for his young family. In New Mexico, her parents worked tirelessly (often two jobs a piece) to provide opportunities for her, and Olga took advantage of every one.
She served as President of her school’s National Honors Society, was a Student Senator, and earned the Selfless Senior Award in a class of 500. She speaks Russian and Spanish fluently, and is planning to learn German or Italian.
Her Georgetown story is equally compelling. While in high school, Olga visited D.C. and passed through the Georgetown neighborhood. Stunned by the sight of Healy, she recalls, “I stood in front of the gates, and made my decision right there.” She was so convinced that she did not even walk through the gates until she arrived here as a freshman.
Years earlier, ironically, when Olga was just a child, her father also took a trip to D.C. And he too stood in front of the Healy Gates, overwhelmed with emotion. As he told Olga only after she started freshman year here, “I wanted to go [to Georgetown]. But more importantly, I wanted you to go here.” Her father now knows how clearly proud Olga is that he gave of himself to make this dream one day possible for her.
When she was admitted to Georgetown, Olga cried tears of happiness. But the news was bittersweet because financial aid would be a determining factor. She was offered a completely full-ride at the University of New Mexico, which proved hard to turn down even though her heart was already at Georgetown. But fate delivered again, and through the intercession of Dean of Student Financial Services, Patricia McWade, and Joan Monaghan Hart G’54, GSP was able to make Georgetown a reality.
Olga says simply, “Had I not gotten the GSP Scholarship, I would not be here. No question”
As a junior she looks up at Healy and still says: “See!”. Alumni around her get to remember what that feeling was like when they were students. She says, “I really feel like I’ve found my haven. I feel so right here. It’s a privilege.”