Yana Grigortchouk and her husband, Sergey Dremin, are both originally from Russia, but they met at the University of Kansas while pursuing their studies (awww!).

Now parents to three-year-old Bela and one-year-old Milan, this beautiful family has attended countless JCC Family programs in order to strengthen their bond with our JCC Denver community.

How long have you been attending programs at the J? How did you find out about the J and their family programming?

Yana Grigortchouk: We have been attending JCC programming for almost two years now––since Bela was 19 months old. I had heard from another friend of mine about an amazing art class at the J and after we tried it once, we knew that it is the best!

Which programs do your kids like best? Which programs would you recommend to other families?

YG: Number one is art. Amy Berlin is an absolutely amazing and creative instructor who knows how to communicate with children and always creates an inviting space for children to explore and create. Currently, Bela has been attending a class which has been piloted for pre-K kids and every week she can’t wait to go there. In our two years with Amy, there have been very few process art stations that have been repeated. Every class it is something new! However, our children have enjoyed every single class we have participated in. Poolside playdates are also a great way to spend a Friday morning in the sun and meet some other moms. Personally, I don’t think there is a program at the J I would not recommend to other families.

What do you like best about the JCC Denver community?

YG: We love how welcoming and encompassing it is. It always provides a wide variety of activities for a wide age range of children and adults.

How did you and Sergey find your way to Denver, Colorado?

YG: My husband and I moved to Colorado in 2008, to Fort Collins, and six months later I moved to Monterey, CA to teach Russian at the Defense Language Institute. After two years of living between two states we decided to stay in Colorado and we moved to Denver (Sergey worked from home for Hewlett Packard and I was an Assistant Professor of Russian at the US Air Force Academy).

What other programs at the J are you looking to try out?

YG: We would like for our children try out the tennis program and some social activity events for adults.

What are you and your family looking forward to most for Summer 2018? Any fun trips planned?

YG: I think that since both of the children are growing and beginning to play more together and Milan is able to actively participate in many outdoor activities, we are looking forward to be able to explore more of Denver and surrounding area. We don’t have any trips planned in the summer, but we are planning another trip or a cruise in the fall.

We love Yana and her family––her children are absolutely adorable, and Yana’s serene energy works wonders for our fast-paced climate here at the J.

Be sure to say ‘hi’ if you see this wonderful family in the hallway!