Katsiaryna Liavanava - Green Card Voices

Katsiaryna Liavanava

Occupation: Student

Country of Birth: Belarus

Current: Rochester, NY

“I still remember how I find out that I was moving to the USA. On that day my mom went to work. At work my mom called me and said she won the green card lottery and she was very happy.”

Katsiaryna (Kate) Liavanava was born in 2005 in Gomel, Belarus. She is an only child and her mother wanted to move to the U.S. for better opportunities. She found it difficult to leave behind her grandparents, dad, uncle, and friends when she made the move to Rochester, NY. The journey to Rochester was long and tiring. She and her mother were picked up by her uncle who lived in Rochester.

Katsiaryna struggled with school because she didn’t speak any English but over time, she was able to learn with the help of teachers and friends. School in Rochester was a new environment for her, but new things, such as getting to classes and opening her locker, got better as she learned. Kate’s favorite class is art as she enjoys being creative and artistic. She has been playing the piano for several years. With time, she overcame the language barrier and was able to become part of her school community.

Her love for the arts is what fuels her goals. She wishes to go to college and wants an artistic career. Since coming to NY, her life has changed so much. She and her mother have been given opportunities to grow. Her mother is currently in school to become a dental hygienist.

Kate hopes to go back to Belarus to visit the people and places she misses. She wants to go back to visit the arts school she used to attend and the House of Creativity where she took some of her favorite classes. She wants to visit her friends back in Belarus. Kate misses her grandparents and looks forward to spending time with them. Coming to the U.S. has changed Kate’s life and she plans to take advantage of the opportunities presented to her to pursue her passions.