Doctor comes to aid of Croatian student
By Ann Strosnider, Sun Staff
September 25, 2004
Croatian student Boris Marosinac will be able to stay in Bremerton and complete his education at Olympic College, thanks to a generous retired doctor.
Dr. John Stanley of Bremerton came forward to put up the $15,000 required by student visa rules after a story about Marosinac's plight appeared in The Sun Sept. 17.
Stanley said he was happy to help and said Marosinac is helping him as well.
"We discovered that this young fellow is very good with computers," he said.
Stanley has a Russian student, Katerina Korosteleva of Vladivostok, staying with him, and Marosinac was able to set up her computer with the Cyrillic alphabet.
Marosinac, 20, had begun college in Michigan but moved to Bremerton after members of a church that sponsored him lost their jobs and were unable to keep up the funding. The Stanley family (no relation to Dr. Stanley) knew him slightly and agreed to take him in without knowing about the financial requirements. He is part of OC's fledgling international student program.
Dr. Stanley said he got involved with international students through Rotary. He began traveling to Russia to help set up Rotary clubs about six years ago.
Kathy Stanley said Friday that the response from the community has been overwhelming.
"In addition to Dr. Stanley, we've had dozens of calls," she said. "Some people wanted to offer money, some just offered their prayers that Boris would be able to stay in this country. I would like to thank Gerry Stamm of Olympic College and everyone who called. It has meant so much to us and to Boris."
One woman even called to see if the young Croatian could help her translate some letters from her deceased father. She was born in Croatia but moved to the United States after being adopted in 1956 and never learned to read and write the language.
Marosinac grew up in a time of war and dislocation in his native land. The fighting among Serbs, Croats and Muslims in the former Yugoslavia left 20,000 people dead and more than a quarter-million homeless.
When it looked like he might have to return home without a degree, he was discouraged because unemployment in Croatia is about 45 percent, he said.
"Beyond the education that Boris will be able to get, the lesson that there are good people out there means everything," Kathy Stanley said.
Reach reporter Ann Strosnider at (360) 792-9219 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.