Brave Generation

Our Story

The West’s support of Ukraine has been critical to ruining Putin’s imperial goals. Together, with Ukraine leading the charge on the ground and an international coalition providing the military, intelligence, and financial resources Ukraine needs to be successful, democracy is winning the battle against autocracy. Inspired by this international, Ukrainian-led collaborative framework, Brave Generation is led by a team of strong Ukrainian voices and backed by global partners.

Meet Our Co-Founder

Tanya Kotelnykova is the President and Co-Founder of Brave Generation. Her lived experience through two wars, the Donbas occupation in 2014 and the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, motivates her to aid youth suffering the ongoing consequences of the full scale invasion. Tanya is a student in Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies at Yale University. She holds an M.A. in Human Rights from Columbia University and received her B.A. in Law at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Tanya’s main area of research is Russian academic propaganda in the occupied Ukrainian territory since 2014, the right to self-determination, and secession in the 21st century. Tanya was born and raised in a small industrial city – Horlivka – in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. In 2014, she fled her hometown after the occupation by Russian-backed separatists began. Eight years later, the full-scale invasion forced her to flee Ukraine.

As a recipient of Columbia’s Scholarship for Displaced Students, Tanya went from hiding in bomb shelters in Kyiv to pursuing higher education in a safe environment. During her time at Columbia, she received various distinctions for academic excellence, an invitation to speak with Columbia University’s President, and the Davis Fellowship, among other honors. Her commitment to academia is intertwined with an acknowledgment of privilege, as many Ukrainians have been unable to safely continue their studies. Thus, upon arrival at Columbia University in Fall 2022, Tanya founded MentorUkraine to connect her peers at Columbia with Ukrainian students to motivate and assist them with applying to U.S. universities. Mentors can now be found at over a dozen universities across the globe, and Mentees have been awarded nearly $5.1 million in scholarships. As the mentorship program grew, she co-founded Brave Generation to further support her peers in rebuilding their lives and continuing their education. Tanya believes Ukraine’s young people will play an integral role in post-war reconstruction and the prevention of future conflict.

Our Programs

Through our programs, we deliver on our mission:

empowering young Ukrainians today, so they can lead tomorrow.


by Brave Generation

Our global network of Mentors from top universities.


by Brave Generation

Our tailored application guidance and associated financial support.


by Brave Generation

Our network of professional mental health care resources.

Contact Us

Have questions about Brave Generation?
Our team is here to help.

Connect with us

Thank you for your message