Filipp Chebotarev and Polina Chebotareva came to the US from Russia in 1993 as kids in elementary school. The siblings grew through all the challenges of being immigrant children; learning English, attending a new school, acclimating to a new country. Now Filipp is COO and Polina is Managing Partner of Cambridge SPG, a strategic opportunity investment firm. But they haven’t forgotten what it is like to be the new kid.
Just before the holiday, Filipp and Polina brought 400 pairs of shoes to students at Franklin Elementary School in Santa Ana, California. The kids were thrilled to receive new shoes. The timing was perfect, just before the kids went on their holiday break. Some kids tested out their dance moves in their new sneakers (and one little guy even did the worm!).
“This is more than having a comfortable or functional shoe, this gift is about confidence and paying it forward. Growing up, as immigrant children, we relied on organizations for clothes and food. Today, we make social impact a foundational cornerstone at the center of our purpose,” said Filipp Chebotarev. “This is our fourth year being involved with Shoes That Fit and we've experienced first-hand how inspired, empowered, and deserving the children that the organization serves are. We believe that these children, regardless of their socioeconomic status, deserve the chance to be future leaders in our community. With the right focus on education, a strong self-esteem, and empowerment we hope to inspire positive long term change in the parts of the community where it is needed.”
Friends of Cambridge SPG – Lacy Nicole, Valentina Kahn, Grace Lindley and Natalie Lindley were part of the event and had a major contribution!
“Shoes That Fit is an organization near and dear to our hearts, as Filipp and I as children experienced what it's like to only have one old pair of shoes and the insecurity and distraction that goes with this,” said Polina. “We are so proud to partner with Shoes That Fit. These efforts help empower, build self-esteem, and effectively prepare these kids for future leadership positions and becoming highly productive members of our community.”