Julia Ostropolsky

State: Missouri
City of Residence: St. Louis
Country of origin: Soviet Union
Arrival in the U.S.: 1988
JULIA OSTROPOLSKY, MSW, LCSW arrived in the U.S. with her parents as a stateless refugee near the end of the Soviet era. Growing up, she witnessed the struggles of her family and the Russian-speaking community to adapt to and understand their new lives in America. After graduating from the University of Toledo and receiving her Masters in Social Work from Washington University, Julia began working with the Russian-Jewish community in St. Louis County. Julia identified a significant gap in services for limited English speaking communities, and especially for the older members of these communities. Shortly thereafter, Julia – together with fellow refugee Svetlana Miretsky – founded Bilingual International Assistant Services to establish a system of holistic care that would meet the needs of all seniors, regardless of language and origin. Since 2002, Bilingual International has grown steadily and branched out into many different communities and areas of service provision.  As she watches the organization she founded grow with pride, Julia continues to advocate for the foreign-born on numerous professional boards and committees, and was appointed as the Missouri Delegate to the Refugee Congress in 2017.
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