Oleksandra Shchukina is the head of Smart Media, an NDI-supported civil society organization that helps Ukraine’s citizens understand key reforms. She was raised in a family with civic and patriotic values, values which have given her strength during Russia’s war against Ukraine. “I am inspired by how caring our people are, by their desire to help others. My own patriotism and national identity come from my own family,” Oleksandra says. Her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents devoted their careers to civic life in Kharkiv, working as teachers, professors, and priests.