Sveta works as an academic advisor for Buena Vista University Newton Site and is an adjunct instructor at DMACC Newton Campus. She is passionate about community involvement and is a 2015 recipient of the DMACC Alumni Early Achievement Award. Sveta is currently serving as the President for Project AWAKE, she is a past President and an active member of Young Professionals of Jasper County. She is also involved with Organization Promoting Everlasting Neighbors.

Why did you choose to live in Newton?

My sister lived in the area with her family, and my mother and I decided to move here from Ukraine to be closer to my sister and my nephews. I really enjoyed living in Newton so after I got married we decided to make it our home.

What is Newton’s best-kept secret?

OPEN (Organization Promoting Everlasting Neighbors) has served our community for the past 25 years. I think that some people might not know that OPEN fosters sister-city relationships with Smila, Ukraine and Whu Chi, Taiwan. We bring exchange students who attend Newton High School which exposes Newton students to diversity and provides the means for them to learn more about the world. We’ve also hosted many cultural events in the community and are always trying to bring cultural diversity to Newton.

What’s an upcoming project you are excited to work on?

I am working on a project with OPEN that will bring a Ukrainian artist to Newton for several weeks. During that time she will visit schools, nursing homes, as well as hold public classes teaching a very unique and beautiful Ukrainian painting technique. I am also hoping that, with the help of some school age children, she will create a community mural that can remind us of the strong relationship with one of our sister-cities.

What do you think people should get to know about Newton?

Being a strong advocate of community involvement I think people should get to know a variety of non-profit organizations that exist in Newton. We all have different interests, I encourage each person to find something that they are passionate about (animals, gardening, children safety, etc) then find an organization that meets those interests and get involved. We have some many wonderful nonprofits but the volunteer pool is shrinking. Spend some time volunteering for an organization and not only will you make a difference in your community but you will also create new friendships and I bet you will learn something new about Newton.

How is Newton preparing for the future?

Working in higher education I believe in the power of education and I think that Newton is a step ahead of some other towns because of the strong educational system that is in place. DMACC’s staff is always looking into new programs that would benefit the citizens of Newton and surrounding area. Newtonians are also pretty lucky because they can get their Bachelor’s degree through a local BVU office. By supporting local educational efforts we are able to build a better future for Newton and its citizens.

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today” – Malcolm X