Emergency Scholarship Seeking Final Funding Surge As Central Coast Rallies Around Dunn, Ukraine

The Los Olivos boarding and day school has raised money to support four displaced Ukrainian students, seeks $70k more to fund a fifth for the fall

LOS OLIVOS, Calif. — When Russia launched a full scale invasion of Ukraine in February, Dunn School immediately leapt into action, establishing the Emergency Ukrainian Student Scholarship.

The war certainly hit close to home as the independent boarding and day school saw firsthand how the conflict was impacting the life of its lone Ukrainian boarding student. Then something extraordinary happened. 

“It became so clear in the initial hours of our emergency scholarship program’s infancy how eager the Central Coast community was to support these children whose complete lives were turned upside down at such a crucial time in their educational lives,” Dunn Head of School Kalyan Balaven said. “Our goal quickly blossomed from supporting our current student into finding the answer to another question: ‘How many kids could we bring here to study in our uniquely safe, and supportive environment?’ ”

In the initial round of fundraising, Dunn was able to secure scholarship funds not only for its first Ukrainian student but three additional students as well. One is already on campus, joining in time to take part in a special Ukrainian Awareness event last month. Two more, a pair of brothers, are admitted to begin school in the fall, and a fifth Ukrainian student is seeking funding to join them. 

In that effort, the school is in need of $70,000, the cost to board at Dunn for a full academic year — including tuition, room and boarding, incidentals such as school supplies, living expenses, and homestay support during school breaks. 

Anyone can donate to the effort quickly and easily online by visiting dunnschool.org/ukraine. To give offline, please contact Dunn’s office of philanthropy by calling (805) 686-0627. 

One hundred percent of the dollars given will go directly toward educating Ukrainian students displaced by the war.

“This child in need is a straight A student,” Balaven said. “She speaks three languages and is learning two more. She has a passion for acting and loves performing music. She’s already given her own money and clothing as humanitarian aid to her home country. She wants to return there but knows that she’ll make the biggest impact if she can do so with the highest quality education. Help us provide that for her.”     

Dunn School Admissions Office:

805-688-6471 or email


Dunn Middle School Office:

805-688-2404, or email