KYIV TO CALIFORNIA
Jan Koum was born on February 24, 1976, in Kyiv, Ukraine, a country that then still fell under the former Soviet Union, to Jewish parents as their only child. He lived a simple life in a small town that was disrupted by the chaotic political environment and anti-Semitism in the country. To escape the unfavorable conditions in their native land, the family decided to migrate to the United States. Jan, along with his mother and grandmother moved to the US in 1992, and his father planned to join the family later. However, his father fell ill in Ukraine and could not make it to the US. He died in 1997. Aged 16 at the time of the immigration, Jan faced considerable challenges in adjusting to the new country. His mother took up babysitting to earn money and Jan himself began working as a cleaner at a grocery store. He became interested in programming while at high school and discovered that he possessed an inherent knack for it. By the time he completed his schooling at 18, he was a skilled self-taught computer network engineer. He enrolled at the San Jose State University. While still a student he took up a job with global accountants Ernst & Young as a security tester to help pay for his studies.
FROM ACTON TO ACTION
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