“I always wanted to come to Ukraine, it’s been a goal of mine to come to this country in this time of war,” — these heartbreaking words marked my first time I met Titawny Cook. He is a proud Chabot graduate who is in Ukraine now covering the latest news about the war for the Chabot Spectator.
Titawny’s background is solid: he served in the United States Marines doing combat logistics and security forces operating as a Cpl of the Guard and fireteam leader in Iraq. We met on Chabot College campus when Titawny was looking for any Ukrainians out there. It was a nice meeting if not considering the context of war in my native country Ukraine.
At college Titawny had leadership positions starting with Speech and Debate, which laid the groundwork for pretty much everything. Public speaking, confidence, political analysis, and competitive debate over domestic and international policies made Titawny a great journalist. ‘’I had a radio show that I hosted with other students for a good number of years, and this gave me good training for public interviews’’, said Titawny Cook.
This experience made a strong foundation for Titawny to decide to relocate to Ukraine to help Ukrainian Armed Forces. He also wrote for the college newspaper at this time, and he enjoyed this educational training. So much so that he eventually came around full circle to do this again.
Being a journalist and adventure seeker he embarked on a great volunteering mission: to find military work or news agency work in Ukraine, starting in Kyiv. Titawny says, there are many options to accomplish this goal, but there is an express need for fighters and infantry positions.
Being actively involved in life in Ukraine, Titawny continues sharing his firsthand experience from the heart of Ukraine — its capital Kyiv — with all the Chabot Spectator readers.
“It took time to get acquainted with the idea of leaving home for a long duration where I would have no friends and no support, or so I believed. Riding an overnight train with two very large suitcases, one of them carrying body armor. It was Ukraine that I was worried about because traveling with body armor could be perceived as a threat by military security forces. It was indeed, and I was questioned about why I had such a heavy suitcase.”
Titawny Cook shared with The Spectator his feelings about living in Ukraine. He said he actually loves Ukraine and especially Kyiv, and he is very proud to be there and so far has made very solid connections, including very strong friendships, in a very short time period.
‘’I have done very well here, and I plan to stay for a good period of time and contribute to the fabric and rebuilding of this country. I have experienced nothing but real and very courteous people since I have been in the country, and any rumors or fears of people back home that I heard about before arriving here were actually untrue, and like they say, “You don’t know until you try it for yourself.’’ Titawny’s goal is to eventually find military work or news agency work here in Ukraine, starting in Kyiv.
“I hope to land with UAF (Ukrainian Armed Forces) public affairs or a journalist position with a local news agency covering the war, but overall I hope to build lasting relationships here because the strength in people is unbelievable and outstanding in terms of character and strength! ‘’
I know how different and difficult life can be in a foreign country, but I can confidently say that staying in Ukraine for just three months Titawny is doing a great job! And by the way, he is even learning the Ukrainian language to settle down there and start life in the new country from scratch. ‘’Ukraine is beautiful and strong, and regardless of war, this spirit will never be extinguished! ‘’ Titawny said.
Titawny Cook is one of those multitalented and aspiring students of Chabot College who’s proved his desire to be a real journalist. He’s never given up on his big dream. As one of the proud graduates of Chabot College, Titawny inspires hundreds of students by his dedication to journalism and bravery in the profession.
Despite being dangerous during the war, Titawny faced the challenge to go abroad and serve as a journalist in Ukraine.
The Chabot Spectator wishes Titawny Cook good luck and success. Chabot College is proud of your fearlessness and eagerness for new life experiences!