Olentangy’s Kosmyna is going places
Story and photo by
Olentangy High School senior Marta Kosmyna is considering the foreign service for a career.
“I’m hoping to be a foreign service officer, maybe someday a diplomat,” Marta said, adding it does not matter which country. Coming to the United States when she was 6, Marta speaks both English and Ukrainian fluently. She has also had five years of French and can both speak and read Russian. “Languages come pretty easily.”
Erin Gavula is Marta’s French teacher.
“Since the first day she has always been enthusiastic about learning the French language but also the variety of cultures that go with it,” said Gavula. “She has a great curiosity about other cultures and is always suggesting ideas for the class to learn about. I hope that she continues her language studies in college and is able to travel abroad in the future.”
Marta is applying to six colleges — Georgetown University, Tuft University, University of Southern California, NYU, Barnard College and Ohio State University — where she plans to major in international foreign studies and politics.
All the schools are in urban areas, and all have strong international relations programs.
“Being away at school is not a problem. I’m pretty independent; I think my parents would agree,” Marta said. She originally considered journalism as a major, “but it’s a hectic lifestyle.”
With senior year going well, Marta is looking forward to graduation.
“Classes are pretty challenging this year,” she said. Yet she is enjoying all the senior perks, such as getting out early. “It makes up for school being so bad.”
When Marta and her mother moved to the U.S., she began with ESOL classes in Westerville and then transferred to the Olentangy district when she was in the fifth grade.
“This drastic change in my life made me realize the importance of seizing opportunities and recognizing everything I’ve been blessed with. I take immense pride in my roots and I never forget the family and friends I left behind,” she wrote for her Gazette essay.
Marta is very involved with the Ukrainian Cultural Association of Ohio which is centered on the Ukrainian community.
“There are lots of Ukrainians, a lot of Russians as well, here,” Marta said.
Each year, she dresses in Ukrainian regalia to participate in the U. N. Festival in Columbus. She also returns to visit the Ukraine during the summer months, and has traveled there on her own the past three summers.
“The first time I was 14 and I took three planes. I’m a pretty adventurous person; I’ve been to seven different countries,” said Marta, who enjoys experiencing different cultures.
Marta has worked her way up in the journalism program at the high school where she is now managing editor of The Beacon. Jessica Roads is Marta’s journalism teacher.
“She goes above and beyond in this leadership role,” Roads said of Marta. We actually created this position for her this year because she is such a strong member of the journalism program. She edits copy outside of school, writes copy and designs pages for us. She is an exceptional journalist.”
Marta has also completed coursework in marketing with the DECA program. She took second in state competition and third in the district for her apparel and accessories project continuing on to attend the national DECA competition.
She also plays volleyball for the school where she is a scholar athlete and has received OCC honorable mention as well.
“Senior night was definitely emotional. I finally realized I was wearing the jersey for the last time ever,” she said, noting senior players are “passing the torch down.”
“Marta is a dedicated student-athlete who has set very high goals for herself throughout high school in both academics and extracurriculars — including volleyball,” said Michelle Mimna, Marta’s volleyball coach. Mimna has known Marta for four years.
“Marta was definitely one of our senior leaders this year, helping her team to a 15–9 record and a very competitive season,” said Mimna. “She always had profound words of wisdom for her teammates to help them stay focused on being a team and overcoming obstacles.”
Mimna added Marta is also known as the team princess for her habit of “decorating.”
“We called it ‘bejeweling’ or ‘bedazzling’ all of her practice gear,” said Mimna. “She kept us laughing all season and was a key reason we had so much fun this year. Marta missed the first six matches of the season due to illness, and was so excited to come back — she played with great passion and commitment the remainder of the season. She also took a young sophomore on varsity under her wing to help her get better and better understand the varsity game. She will be missed by all of us here at OHS next year.”
Mimna said that Marta led the team in blocks this season and has been a starter at the Middle Hitter/Blocker position for two years.
Other activities that keep Marta busy include French Club, National Honor Society and Service Club. She also has taken private piano lessons for 10 years and now teaches piano to beginner students.
“I had a good teacher, which luckily inspired my passion for music. It’s a good thing to do to express your emotions after a hard day. I wanted to spread the love,” she said of her teaching piano. “It’s nice to see them do well.”
As if Marta was not doing enough, she was also accepted into The John Glenn School of Public Affairs High School Internship Program where she will intern at the Ohio House of Representatives through the Republican organizational committee. At the same time, she will take a public relations course at Ohio State University.
“It will be an amazing experience,” Marta said, adding it will be good for networking. Laughing, she said, “So, I’ve been doing my business clothes shopping.”
As the year progresses, Marta said it will be hard to say good-bye to her classmates.
“It will be an emotional journey at graduation. This year, I’m focusing on the time we have now.”
She offers the following advice to those in the lower grades.
“I think high school is high school and you shouldn’t take it too seriously. It is time to experiment, don’t be afraid to take a class, make new friends. Some may turn out to be your best friends,” she said.
Marta is the daughter of Angela Atamas and Ronald Bergeron.