Sergey Bondarev always knew he wanted to become a doctor—how he was going to get there was a little more challenging. “I was the first child in my family to go to college, and my family was having difficulty coming up with the funds to pay for my tuition and housing; it was a hefty expense.”

Sergey was first introduced to Hebrew Free Loan when he attended a college fair at his high school, Jewish Community High School of the Bay. Though he had only skimmed through the Hebrew Free Loan brochure and spoken briefly with a Hebrew Free Loan representative, Sergey felt like he was on the right path. “After reading about Hebrew Free Loan, I felt relieved and optimistic.”

After completing his application and meeting with the Hebrew Free Loan staff, Sergey received his first loan in 2006 to help pay for tuition, books, and housing at UC Santa Cruz. A few years after completing his undergraduate degree, Sergey obtained his second loan from Hebrew Free Loan to help pay for his Medical School prerequisite courses. In 2013, Sergey received his third loan from Hebrew Free Loan to finance the cost of moving to Chicago, where he would be attending Medical School. Now on his fourth loan, Sergey is using the money to help pay for his Medical School, Chicago Medical School at Rosalind and Franklin. Said Sergey, “Because of Hebrew Free Loan, my dreams of becoming a doctor are finally starting to come true.”

Throughout his tenure with Hebrew Free Loan, Sergey has seen the agency continually grow and expand its services—while maintaining its unique and individualized approach. “I’ve been working with the same staff members every year, and they’ve been wonderful in helping me get my loan and the complete the necessary paperwork. I’ve created relationships that are personalized; I feel supported because Hebrew Free Loan knows my educational goals.”

Sergey would like to join the Full Circle Club in the future, once he becomes an established physician. “I’d like to give back to Hebrew Free Loan so that other people in the Jewish community can fulfill their goals and dreams.”

“I am very grateful for Hebrew Free Loan and its benevolent donors since all of this wouldn’t have been possible without their help.”

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