Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-12-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Oleg Grachev on living in Russia and the U.S.
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2018-03-30

This article shared 2382 times since Fri Mar 30, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Ever since Oleg Grachev was 10 years old, he had a dream of working on Wall Street. He has fulfulled that dream as J.P. Morgan's new investment banking analyst.

Grachev's journey to Wall Street began in his Russian hometown Blagoveshchensk, which borders China.

"I was graduating fourth grade and we had to write an essay to ourselves twenty years in the future," said Grachev. "At that point, I would watch news covering a lot of finance. I did not know what it all meant yet, but the dynamic and speed with which the markets moved seemed fascinating. I wanted to be one of those people in suits so I wrote about living in New York City, and working on Wall Street."

When Grachev started school, his goal was to succeed academically so he participated in academic Olympiads covering many subjects and the U.S. State Department Future Leaders Exchange Program ( FLEX ) competition where he won a scholarship during his junior year in high school.

A week after winning the scholarship, Grachev broke his neck at the end of a swimming practice. Doctors told his mom he might be paralyzed from the neck down. That did not stop him from recovering over a four-month period however, and a week after he was back on his feet, he boarded a plane to the United States.

Winning the FLEX scholarship allowed Grachev to spend his senior year as an exchange student living with a host family in Paw Paw, Illinois.

"That ended up being one of the most memorable and eye-opening experiences in my life," said Grachev. "Seeing what life is like beyond the big cities helped me understand a different side of America that I could not read about or see in the news."

After high school, Grachev said he was able to fulfill his dream of attending college in the United States due to a merit-based scholarship that cut tuition in half. He chose NIU because of its proximity to his host-family's town and the friends he made in high school.

In 2015, Grachev created a peer-mentor program at NIU to help other international students adjust to life in the United States. This stemmed from an interaction he had with another international student in college who was having trouble assimilating into American culture.

"The program will continue through the International Students and Faculty Office on campus," said Grachev. "This program created a tangible impact on campus bridging the gap between two communities further teaching how to appreciate different cultures and the differences between each other."

Coming to this country gave Grachev the ability to live his truth as an out gay man.

"Growing up in Russia, I always knew I was gay, but accepting that part of me was not easy in that social climate," said Grachev. "I was sorry for not being perfect, I was afraid that none of my dreams would ever come true, I was scared for my life and quite frankly, at that time I thought I was alone in this world. The possibility of me coming out was one of the reasons why I moved to the U.S. and was something I could not imagine doing in Russia."

Grachev came out to his host family and friends during his freshman year at NIU, and at the end of the first semester to his mom. He noted that since then it has been a work in progress for her to fully accept that he is gay.

On campus, he quickly got involved with Out for Undergrad ( O4U ). O4U focuses on advancing high-achieving undergraduate LGBTQ leaders in their professional lives. The group holds four annual conferences that guide students in industry-specific skills, coaching relationships and discussion about being LGBTQ-identified in the workplace.

"Involvement in O4U was instrumental in shaping me as an individual and a professional," said Grachev. "I remember in my first year ( 2015 ) I needed to find inspiration to be myself, gain friends among the LGBTQ community and build my professional network. O4U has given me that and so much more—it gave me family. It gave me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and inspired me to honestly stand for what I believe in. That is why in my second year I became a campus ambassador—extending this opportunity to students on campus who needed it. Recently, I organized and hosted a happy hour for O4U alumni in Chicago and plan on further giving back to the organization as I embark on my career."

Due to Grachev's involvement with O4U, he learned about J.P. Morgan's Proud to Be program.

"This event, which takes place annually at J.P. Morgan's headquarters in New York City, gives students an opportunity to meet some of company's LGBTQ leaders, learn more about the firm and interview for one of the company's internship programs," said Grachev. "The interview process was an eye-opening experience that led to an internship in the Investment Banking Division, and consequently a full-time offer. The program connected me with the family of open and proud professionals, both junior and senior, from the Pride resource group that have became role models and mentors."


This article shared 2382 times since Fri Mar 30, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Billy Porter discusses his fashion choices, personal ambitions
2023-01-30
Billy Porter—the Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner—needs no introduction—especially to the many fans of his character Pray Tell on Ryan Murphy's hit TV series Pose. Coming up exclusively in theaters Feb. 3, Porter will star as ...


Gay News

Howard Brown strike reaches third day
2023-01-05
Amid layoffs of 60 unionized and four non-union staffers at multiple Howard Brown Health (Howard Brown), Broadway Youth Center and Brown Elephant locations across Chicago, over 400 HBH Workers United non-nurse members represented by the Illinois ...


Gay News

WORLD Conversion therapy, Indian school, trans boxers, anti-LGBTQ+ move
2022-12-31
South Florida Gay News noted that efforts to ban so-called conversion therapy gained a lot of traction around the world in 2022. For example, Canada and France introduced LGBTQ+-inclusive bills to ban conversion therapy for minors ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Office vandalized, George Santos, HRC official dies at 24, law students
2022-12-24
Protestors vandalized an openly gay New York City Council member's office and entered his apartment building, The Advocate reported. Erik Bottcher—whose district includes Greenwich Village, Chelse and Hell's Kitchen, among ...


Gay News

OPINION Remember the youngest victims of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination
2022-12-19
On Dec. 13, the Ohio State Board of Education voted 10-7 in favor of a non-binding resolution opposing proposed changes to the federal government's Title IX protecting LGBTQ+ students. It was just one more blow for ...


Gay News

MUSIC: Sophie B. Hawkins talks LGBTQ+ youth and living an authentic life
2022-11-24
In the '90s, singer-songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins made quite an impression on people with the entrancing song "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" and its accompanying video. She also had hits such as "Right Beside You" ...


Gay News

National AIDS Memorial names 2022-2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship recipients
2022-11-09
-- From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, California, Nov. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National AIDS Memorial has announced its 2022/2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders scholars, its largest and most diverse class ever, providing ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Pageant ruling, AOC, gay journalists, Dwyane Wade, trans activist
2022-11-06
A federal appeals court ruled that the operator of the Miss United States of America pageant (not to be confused with the Miss USA pageant) can't be forced to allow openly transgender women into its competitions, ...


Gay News

Chicago Teachers Union: Lightfoot's CPS team must remove Jones HS principal, address racially hostile environment
2022-11-04
-- From a Chicago Teachers Union press release - CHICAGO, Nov. 3, 2022 — The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement after learning of another incidence of intolerance at Jones College Prep High School, which has been dogged by complaints of antisemitism, racism and ...


Gay News

2023 ELECTIONS Sarandon, Epps back Green; Johnson enters mayoral race
2022-10-31
Chicago mayoral candidate Ja'Mal Green has received the endorsement of two high-profile celebrities in his run, according to a campaign press release. Actress Susan Sarandon and actor/comedian Mike Epps both offered their full support to energize ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Birth certificates, university items, drag-show standoff, 'Models of Pride'
2022-10-30
Following a lawsuit from ACLU, ACLU of West Virginia and the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Vital Registration Office has introduced more accessible and safer policies ...


Gay News

Florida Board of Education approves strict trans bathroom rule
2022-10-24
On Oct. 19, the Florida Board of Education approved a strict rule preventing public and charter schools in the state from allowing trans+ youth to use the restroom or locker room consistent with their gender identity ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Michigan bill, trans woman killed, school musical, Alabama drag queen
2022-10-23
Michigan House Republicans recently introduced legislation that could have the potential to throw parents and doctors in prison for life for offering gender-affirming care to children under the age of 18, MLive.com reported. Under House Bill ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Cleveland's ban, LGBT center, Black Public Media, Folx Health
2022-10-16
The Cleveland City Council passed a ban on conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ youth and impose criminal penalties for mental health professionals who provide it, cleveland.com reported. The ban, which Councilman Brian Mooney proposed, applies to talk, ...


Gay News

WORLD Fertility strategy, trans youth charity, French PM, Mexican spots
2022-10-02
The British government committed to a 10-year strategy to end discrimination against "female same-sex couples" seeking fertility services, according to Human Rights Watch. The first-ever Women's Health Strategy for England ...


 




Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.