First-generation American scholars recognized by Senator O'Brien

ALBANY, N.Y. – Today, Senator Ted O’Brien honored three Rochester School of the Arts students that are both first-generation Americans and members of the first generation of their families to receive a higher education. They are Mawia Elawad, whose family is Sudanese and will attend Alfred University this fall, Junwan Ge, whose family is Chinese and will be attending the University at Buffalo and Yuliya Otchych, whose family is Ukrainian and will be attending SUNY Oswego.

Senator O’Brien brought the students to Albany, introduced them on the floor of the Senate and presented each of them with a resolution honoring their accomplishment.

“America was built by those who came to our shores in search of new opportunities and a brighter future for their families,” Senator O’Brien said. “These impressive young people, by making the most of their educationand striving to become contributing members of our society, truly embody what the American Dream is all about.”

All three are naturalized American citizens and residents of the Keeler Park Apartments in the Group 14621 neighborhood of Rochester, N.Y., who came to Senator O’Brien’s attention following a residents’ association meeting he attended there earlier this year.

“I wish Mawia, Junwan and Yuliya the best of luck at school this fall,” Senator O’Brien said. “I know that they will make our community proud and continue to represent the Rochester area with distinction.”


Sen. O’Brien represents the 55th district in the Senate, which is made up of the eastern half of Monroe County and the western half of Ontario County, including much of the city of Rochester.

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