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Sharapova sponsors twelve students with $210,000

Maria Sharapova Launches $210,000 Chernobyl Scholarship FundMaria Sharapova, Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Development Program, is launching a $210,000 scholarship program for students from Chernobyl-affected areas of Belarus.

The scholarships will be granted to 12 talented young people from Chernobyl-affected regions and enable them to study at one of two leading universities in Belarus.

The program is a joint initiative of the Maria Sharapova Foundation and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

"It has always been my dream to contribute to the recovery of a region where I have a personal connection," said the Russian. "Enabling talented young people to pursue higher education is part of a broader effort to build a brighter future for the region."

The three-time Grand Slam champion was born in Siberia a year after her parents were forced to leave the city of Gomel in Belarus because of the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.

Additional info: Sharapova was supposed to visit Chernobyl this summer, but it hasn't happened because of her rehabilitation in Arizona. (source: On the Baseline)

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