Postville thinks of itself as a place where people of all backgrounds and nationalities can come, do hard and unsavory work, and get ahead. Svetlana Vanchugova, who teaches English classes to non-native speakers at the high school, is one such immigrant. Called "Ms. Lana" by her students, Vanchugova came to Postville in 1995 from Ukraine in order to escape an unhappy marriage and to start a new life with her two sons. "For me it was a fairy tale when I first came to this little town," she says. Vanchugova taught English at a university in Ukraine, but when she arrived in America, her only option was to work at the plant, packing chickens. "Just imagine what a university professor feels working for agriprocessors for three years," she told Yahoo News as her high school students worked quietly behind her. "One thought was torturing me: that I didn't belong there."Go here to read the rest of her story, as well as find out about the impact of a 2008 raid that removed 20% of the population of the town of Postville, Iowa.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Country of origin: Ukraine