Pavel "Pasha" Cherepanov, 24, helps twins Darin and Theron Mott with their art projects during a recent class at Mercer County Head Start in Celina. Cherepanov, a chemist, moved to the area from Russia less than two years ago and is volunteering his time at the school while the government finalizes paperwork allowing him to work in the U.S.
Preschooler Daniel Reedy circles the towering man in his classroom and offers a loving hug before joining the other students in a circle on the floor.
"This happens a lot," laughs Pavel Cherepanov, the object of the little boy's affection. [More