How Scholarships Help: Alexandra Mayn ’18

29 April 2015

Alexandra (Sasha) Mayn ‘18
F. Keith Underbrink ‘56 Endowed Fund for Global Initiatives

Alexandra Mayn, better known as Sasha, always knew she’d need to leave home to get the education she wanted. A native of Kazan, Russia, Sasha loves the classics, Latin and linguistics. But in Russia, she says, education emphasizes memorizing facts over cultivating skills.

“In Russia, there is less personality and, no sense of community. I wanted to get an education somewhere where skills are valued, networking is valued, and pursuing your passions is valued,” she says.

She had heard about Carleton while studying abroad in Florida during high school, and the incredible openness and assistance from everyone she emailed – admissions officers, alumni, professors – convinced her that this was the place for her.

And thanks to the F. Keith Underbrink Endowed Fund for Global Initatives, Sasha has been able to pursue the liberal arts education she is so passionate about. Thanks to her scholarship, she says, “I have been able to come here, take very intellectually engaging classes in my favorite disciplines, learn to play a new instrument, and start learning new languages and skills (such as social dance). My dream has come true.”

Because her scholarship generously includes one round-trip visit home, Sasha will return to Russia this summer, but during winter break, she stayed in Northfield and decided use her free time to volunteer at Northfield Middle School and Greenvale Elementary School.

“The high point of my social calendar was actually going to school and helping the art teacher and tutoring,” she says. “It felt like I was moving closer to my true self. I really love teaching, and I felt as though this was the first time I did volunteer work not to impress anyone. When I’d volunteered before, yes, it was for a higher cause, but it was also to impress college admissions or my teachers, too. This time it was just because I enjoyed it.”

 Sasha enjoys teaching so much that she says she sees herself in this field eventually. She will likely major in linguistics here, she says, and hopes to one day work back in Russia for education reform.

“What I love about Carleton is that here, everything is possible. Whatever you want to do, there’s a way to pursue your passion,” she says.

Alexandra Mayn '15, recipient of F. Keith Underbrink '56 Endowed Fund for Global Initiatives

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