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Russian Flagship Program


It started as a homework assignment

Michelle Cabrera, a student in Portland State's Russian Flagship Program, was working on a simple exercise to use Russian vocabulary words in sentences, and before she knew it, it became a book: The Giant's Wealth, based on a Russian folk tale.

Art student Yevgenia Tsveleva illustrated it. PSU's Ooligan Press published it. And now it's part of the curriculum in the Russian immersion program at Portland's Kelly Elementary School.

Russian Flagship is part of a national program started a decade ago as a way to change how Americans learn foreign languages. The intensive language classes help students gain overall fluency while training them to communicate in their major—whether it's chemistry, business, or in Michelle and Yevgenia's case, education and art. The idea is to equip graduates with the ability to work internationally in any field they choose.

Being able to connect with children in Portland's Russian community was a gratifying experience—one of many yet to come as Michelle and Yevgenia connect with the world.