Sophomore, Social Work
Max Malish, a 2nd year social work student at RACU, is completing an internship program at the Center for Children’s Creativity. The Center, which was established by RACU graduate Tatyana Lobacheva, gives disabled children the opportunity to be involved in a range of artistic activities – such as music, painting, sculpture, and appliqué – as well as social rehabilitation programs. Max was originally invited to the Center to run the computer lab and assist with the Computer Literacy program. At the moment, however, the Center doesn’t have any computers, so instead Max does other volunteer work. His main responsibility is to assist kids during their craft classes. Most of the kids have physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, and severe speech problems. One child lacks hands.
“For me,” Max says, “they are normal kids. I look at them and see children who want to play, to draw, and to have fun. And so I play with them. If they need help, I am next to them.” Max enjoys working with the kids and has learned a lot from this hands-on experience. “At the University, I haven’t taken any courses on how to deal with sensitive or specific situations like this yet. And before working here, I didn’t have the experience working with such disabilities before.”
Max lives with his mother, who is a laboratory specialist, in the town of Podolsk. From Podolsk, Max travels an hour and half to get to the RACU campus in Moscow, where he is actively involved in student life. He is a member of the volleyball team and he participates in RACU’s theater program, which is run by the English Department. In addition to his coursework and extracurricular activities, Max is employed as a security guard at RACU. For several years, Max has attended Podolsk Baptist Church, where he is in charge of the music equipment for worship services and the church information board, for which he selects and posts articles.
Between his RACU coursework, campus job, church responsibilities, and internship, Max is a busy young man. “I want to understand what God wants me to do. I want to realize and find that place where God wants to put me,” he says. “Right now, my plans are for the near future – that is, to finish this semester successfully!”