ST. CLOUD -- Students from Ukraine toured St. Cloud Wednesday.

The Global Synergy Group’s “YouLEAD” program spoke at the St Cloud Morning Optimist’s “Lessons in Leadership” meeting at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud.

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Global Synergy Group’s founder, Irina Fursman, says the students return to Ukraine with a different outlook on the future.

They're coming back with sometimes completely different desires, what they want to do in life. Sometimes they just start challenging everybody around them. So they learn how to be critical of themselves and the world around them.

Ukrainian students had an opportunity to talk to business leaders and meet St. Cloud students. Jeff McMahon - WJON
Ukrainian students had an opportunity to talk to business leaders and meet St. Cloud students. Jeff McMahon - WJON
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The Global Synergy Group of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, has been hosting groups of Ukrainian students for more than a decade. Fursman says the students are always looking for the same thing.

Good Life. Security. Just the desire to achieve something in life. Many of them don't know exactly what they want to achieve, but they have a drive of doing something greater. And that's what we've been working on.

This year, the group of 18 students has been touring Minnesota and talking about their experiences for a month. They all share the confidence in winning the war with Russia and Furman says she hopes the time spent in America will translate to a new group of young leaders once the rebuilding begins. They’ve spent much of their time speaking to civic organizations and learning from business leaders about the American way of life. Furman says her favorite time is when the students question American business leaders on why they do things a certain way.

When I bring a group of young people to a corporation, and (the) CEO takes 20 minutes to talk about how great they are. And then kids start asking them questions that challenge them.

The Ukrainian students have been in the United states four weeks. They return home next week. Jeff McMahon - WJON
The Ukrainian students have been in the United States for four weeks. They return home next week. Jeff McMahon - WJON
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The Global Synergy Group is a non-profit organization that has been cultivating a civic and cultural exchange with Ukraine since 2011. 100% of funds raised go to program activities and travel costs. To find out more about the program,  click here.

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