A volunteer-run organization

UGS is a lean and agile organization: we have three full-time staff and no office. Yet, people are at the core of the organization. We have a network of 100+ volunteers who effectively run UGS. Our Leadership Team provides strategic steer and supports key fundraising, admissions, community building, boarding school advising, college counseling, and academic advising workstreams. Our Mentors work directly with the scholars providing invaluable 1:1 guidance. Our Essay team and a team of professional editors support our scholars with essay writing. Our Admissions team runs annual publicity and admission campaigns and selects new cohorts of UGS scholars. Our Co-mentors, or recent UGS alumni, work alongside the more experienced mentors and already give back to our community by supporting new UGS intakes. Many volunteers contribute to multiple teams; all in all, about 75% of UGS alumni are involved with UGS in some capacity, paving the way for new scholars. Our Advisers, including former U.S. Ambassadors and prominent business thinkers, provide valuable strategic advice, enabling us to scale UGS operations. As a public charity UGS relies on individual and corporate donations to cover its operating costs. The majority of our donors come from the US and Ukraine.

Partners and Supporting Organizations

Marianna Elizabeth Tretiak
Philadelphia, PA
Marianna Elizabeth Tretiak Head Mentor, Board Member

As Head Mentor, Marianna works to recruit and train new mentors, assign mentorship teams and oversee the application cycle. Marianna has more than a decade of experience as a writer and producer in the entertainment industry. She is the National Advocacy Chair for the Ukrainian National Women's League Of America and one of the organizers of the Ukraine Action Summit.

Drexel University, MBA '21
University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts, MFA '07
Columbia University, Columbia College, BA '03
William Penn Charter School '99
Pavlo Kononenko
Myrhorod, Poltava Oblast, Ukraine
Pavlo Kononenko Director of College Counseling, Board Member

Pavlo leads our College Counseling efforts, ensuring that each of our scholars has access to multiple scholarship opportunities at top universities around the globe and raising UGS recognition amongst university admission teams. Outside UGS, Pavlo is a healthcare industry executive and an avid alpine skier.

Harvard Business School '13
Harvard College '09
Leysin American School '05
Julia Lemesh
Odesa, Ukraine
Julia Lemesh President, Board Member

As a UGS President, Julia leads day-to-day UGS operations out of Boston with a special focus on fundraising and strategic projects, e.g., UGS Internships in Ukraine. Trained in Ukraine and the UK, Julia has 10+ years of experience as a banking and corporate lawyer. Most recently she worked at Imperial Tobacco's headquarters in Bristol, UK.

Queen Mary, University of London '11
Harvard Kennedy School '23
Misha Lemesh
Zaporizhzhya, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine
Misha Lemesh Co-Founder, Board Member

An Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm, leading McKinsey engagements in pharma across the US. At UGS, Misha leads the Boarding schools team responsible for building and maintaining UGS partnerships with boarding schools.

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania '17
Harvard University '12
Deerfield Academy '08
Yuliya Sychikova
Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine
Yuliya Sychikova Co-Founder, Board Member

As a COO at DataRoot Labs, Yuliya leads operations at one of the fastest-growing AI consultancies and development studios. She is also an Investment Director at AVentures Capital, a leading tech investment and advisory firm in Ukraine. At UGS, Yuliya leads admissions and supervises Ukrainian operations.

University of Pennsylvania '11