By RONALD WAGNER Jr.
Crossroads College Preparatory School
A child of immigrants, Preston Romanov is determined to give himself a better life than his parents had. Part of his plan to do that includes becoming the first person in his family to attend college.
Preston’s parents, Andre and Lana, came to the United States from the former Soviet Union in 1991 with the country in turmoil.
“Communism in Russia was a time where maybe you didn’t get food, or maybe there was sickness, and all the education was doctored; they were learning that Stalin was a great leader.” Romanov said.
While Romanov doesn’t speak Russian, he understands the language and has inherited a slight accent from his parents.
Though his immediate family is small with just three of them, it’s perfect for him, he said.
“They have been great parents to me,” Romanov said.
Having a perfect home life wasn’t enough though.
“You’re in high school, Preston,” he recalled thinking to himself. “You should be out there doing something. You should find your passion.”
After his freshman year at Trinity High School in Louisville, Romanov worked on figuring out what his passion was by packing his schedule with social, academic and extracurricular activities.
Debate was one of the first new things he took on. International news is one of the 18-year-old’s best sources of new information for debate ammunition.
He attended the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs, Kentucky Youth Assembly, and Kentucky United Nations Assembly.
Now a rising senior at Trinity, Romanov will edit the school newspaper, the ECHO, in the coming year.
Romanov is a fan of politics and foreign affairs, and helped create thenewvoice.co, a student-run, news website.
“I just love politics in general because I find them kind of fascinating to watch, to look at, to observe,” he said. “I find it so entertaining. They’re really never boring.”
The site deals mostly with politics, with content written by about 30 students.
“The whole idea is in the name (of the website),” Romanov said. “We want our generation to be heard. Our voices matter. They are important.”
The website has been a huge part of his development.
“Coming into high school, and especially after freshman year, I have just really matured,” Romanov said. “My vocabulary is better. … I am more talkative — more informative. What I love about high school is the activities that I am involved in. I am always challenging myself, to just do more, be more and to do something different.”
At the heart of all that he has accomplished are his parents — his No. 1 supporters, he said.
They are also the reason he wants to attend college and pursue journalism.
“I need to be the one to start the trend in the Romanov family,” he said, “to get a college education, and an increase in a better career, and to find a better financial standing and gain stability.”