Welcome to the

USRP Ambassadorship Program

The USRP Ambassadorship Program is a leadership opportunity awarded through a selective process.


USRP Ambassadors gain valuable and practical experience in building a community from the ground up, all the while connecting with peers and business leaders who share their interests in Russia and participating in valuable professional development opportunities.

All activities take place virtually to enable participation no matter where you are!

USRP Ambassadors | Spring 2021


Kevin Bernabe

George Washington University, '24

International Affairs

I first became interested in Russian culture after meeting a Russian friend, and she introduced me to parts of Russian cuisine and the language back in 2018. I participated in the U.S State Department’s summer virtual NSLI-Y program in 2020 to further my studies in the Russian Language. NSLI-Y helped me explore future career interests by connecting participants with professionals in various fields pertaining to the US-Russia sector. The field that caught my attention was the public sector, as I wish to help push forward discourse of mutual understanding between nations. 


Claire Crossman

University of California, Los Angeles, '23

Russian Language and Literature, Biology

I first became interested in Russian language and culture through ballet. My interest in Russia continued to grow throughout high school, inspiring me to apply for the NSLI for Youth Program in Moscow, Russia. I returned to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow a year later for my senior year of high school. Today, I continue my Russian studies in the Slavic Department at UCLA, while also on a Pre-Med track. I am a part of the Russian Flagship Program and dance with the UCLA Ballet Company.  


Maryam Ibrahim

Princeton University, '23


In 2019, I had the opportunity to spend six weeks abroad with the NSLI for Youth Program. While researching which language to study, I learned about the influence of Russian culture on literature, classical music, the sciences and other fields. At Princeton, my Russian classes have allowed me to have a deeper appreciation for the original writings and context in which they were written. I'm very honored and excited to be an Ambassador for the USRP network and hope to get to know and help others that have a passion and interest in Russian and the Russian language as I do.

Gabbie .png

Gabriella Fisher

The Ohio State University, '23

International Studies & Russian

I have been interested in Russian since middle school. During high school I taught myself the Russian alphabet and a few basic phrases. I have always found the Russian language to be complex, but it wasn’t until I began studying it that I realized how beautiful the language is. I hope to pursue an immersive, first-hand experience with Russian language and culture by studying abroad in the fall. This experience will bring me closer to my goal of becoming a Russian Language Analyst and Translator in the future.


Sofia Makarova

Middlebury College, '22

International and Global Studies, Russia and Eastern Europe

I was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States as a child. Since then, I have come to appreciate and value Russian culture and the language. I have also seen how important establishing a bridge between my two homes is. I now work as a tutor and language conversation partner at my college and as an interpreter for the Russian American Foundation’s BBASI Program.


Tracy Okai

Smith College, '24


I started my Russian journey in middle school by compulsively searching up every piece of information known to man about the Romanovs. I never thought this small obsession would compel me to apply for the NSLI-Y scholarship where I got the chance to visit Moscow in 2019. This wonderful experience led me to take Russian language courses at my college, and even join a Russian movie club. Although I am unsure of my future major, I know I will keep the Russian language and culture close to my heart.


Anna Zheng

Yale University, '22 

Economics, Russian & East European Studies

My interest in Russia first began when I started taking ballet lessons. After taking part in the NSLI-Y program and studying at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy summer of 2016, I knew I wanted to further my Russian studies in college. At Yale, I dance for the Yale Ballet Company, work at the Yale School of Management, and take economics and Russia-related coursework. In the summer of 2019 I studied abroad through Yale in the St. Petersburg Summer Session. I enjoy studying how cultural diplomacy can improve diplomatic relations, especially through ballet.