Breaking News
More () »

Local family takes in college student after COVID-19 evacuations left him with nowhere to go

A local family takes in a college student from China when the campus closed due to Coronavirus concerns.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As schools and campuses have closed around the state, many foreign students were left to figure out what to do and where to go. That is until someone else steps in to help.

“The first thing that I thought of when they announced that campus was closing is all of these people that are going to be displaced and where can they go,” says Ohio State Sophomore AJ Leslie.

When Coronavirus concerns closed the OSU campus, Leslie immediately thought of his friend and fellow classmate, Hank. Hank Teng is also a sophomore at OSU, but his home isn’t just a few hours up the road. 

Hank’s family is from China and because of travel restrictions, the time difference for virtual classes and the time uncertainty that would affect his student visa, he needed a place a stay.

Leslie says, “So I immediately went and talked to my mom. She immediately said, ‘yeah, we can take him in.”

 “So, I said of course, we’ll make room, we’ll figure it out. I just shuffled some things around,” said AJ’s mom, Kym Komaschka.

“You know, I was pretty thankful and appreciate it. His family is pretty good and pretty nice to me,” says Teng.

Of course, the sudden arrival of an unexpected house guest brings an adjustment period, but the family worked it out.

“It was chaos in the house for a little while. We had to get everyone’s stuff in. We had to find the space for it all to go,” recalls Leslie.

“Hank’s been amazing, a really great house guest, very gracious. He’s even provided a few meals for us, just to do his own little part,” says Komaschka.

Teng adds, “There’s a place for me to do my laundry. They cook me food, so everything is nice.”

Stepping in to help someone in need isn’t something new for Kym. In fact, there was an example set for her at an early age. She’s hoping, she can now be an example for others, just like her dad.

“My father took in two other children after I had left and had them come stay when they were having problems,” says Komaschka. “You know, any small thing can change someone’s entire outlook on life. Any small thing you can do is really appreciated and can really help.”

Continued Coverage: 

RELATED: #3Heroes: Who is your hero? Send us your pictures and stories to honor those making a difference

RELATED: #3Heroes | Nominate someone who has made a difference during COVID-19 pandemic in Northeast Ohio

Before You Leave, Check This Out