The phenomenally successful female newcomer who migrants to the United States and makes her fortune is always a subject of supreme fascination.

Peggy Cherng born in Burma and part founder of Panda Express with her husband Andrew, is the ultimate in the immigrant success story.

Panda Express has over 1,500 restaurants, located in 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada, Mexico, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The company does not offer franchises. All units are company-owned and operated.

According to Forbes business magazine, their net worth at the time of this writing is 2.8 billion.

The way to stay inspired and motivated is by doing what you like, doing what you love……….Raphael Saadiq

Katya, a shapely model and Fem Competitor who is turning heads and opening corporate wallets as well has immigrated from Belarus (near Russia) and the global success of this super-hot rising star is warm enough to melt much of the ice in her home country and the hearts in America.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wilhelmina.com photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wilhelmina.com photo

For many of us born in the financially powerful West, their success can be a two headed immigrant coin. On the one side we greatly admire their success but the other side of the coin, especially for those of us at middle age, it sometimes raises a troubling question.

Am I happy with my level of success? Could I have done more?

The kids are grown, the careers are entrenched and financially we may have peaked.

Thus when you look at a young woman who is wildly successful like Katya at such an early age, you can’t help but surmise that she is highly motivated.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wilhelmina.com photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wilhelmina.com photo

There’s always a new challenge to keep you motivated.…..Sean Connery

The informative site zharkova.com relates, “Models used to face standards and limitations on size, but Katya Zharkova’s story keeps leaving those limits behind. This hot Russian plus-size diva doesn’t only boast of her voluptuous body. The many battles she’s won are evidence of the true warrior that lurks behind her stunning image. Katya fights for every woman’s right to be what she wants to be and look the way she chooses to look.”

Katya was born in Minsk, Belorussia, the daughter of military officer Nikolai Zharkov. When she was only 7 months old, Katya’s family had to move to freezing cold Chukotka in the Far East of Russia.

Katya remembers those days as the coldest of her life. She had to wear a fur coat for her day nap in the preschool. There was no milk back then in Chukotka due to limited food supply, and all the oatmeal Katya ever ate was prepared with melted ice cream as a substitute.

Most likely that was different than most of our upbringing. Did Katya use that as an excuse to be content with limitations or mediocrity?

Not when you look at her resume.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wilhelmina.com photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wilhelmina.com photo

Her biography shares Katya started making her moves in the plus-size model industry in the mid-1990s. In 1997 she joined the “Podium” modeling agency in Smolensk, where she was the only plus-size model. Unfortunately, life was harsh for plus-size women in fashion; as her plus size model career languished in the province, piling up numerous rejections, Katya’s stubborn faith in her work drove her to relocate to Moscow. Moving to Russia’s fashion capital – an idea she’d been kicking around in her head for years – happened in 2001. There, in a city of 12 million people, she continued building (or rather, creating from scratch) her portfolio.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, jessicalavoiephotography.com photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, jessicalavoiephotography.com photo

After appearing in a number of minor Russian fashion publications and catwalk shows, Katya caught the notice of Cosmopolitan’s editor-in-chief. In November of 2006, she became the first plus-size model to appear in Cosmopolitan Russia.

In March of 2013, Katya was the first Russian plus-size model to appear on runway of NBS’s show “Fashion Star.”

Very impressive.

The start of 2015 saw Katya cast in a new season of top Russian TV show “Dancing with the Stars.” She made it to the final six, dancing a new dance every week for two months and overshadowing even those who were not new to dancing at all.

Feeling she could do more, Katya started to audition for various roles in cinema. Her biggest film appearance so far was in “Ivan Kupala” movie in 2012, and she aspires to achieve something in that field that’s as groundbreaking as what she’s done in the modeling business.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, tumblr photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, tumblr photo

Is there anything that Katya can’t do if she makes her mind up to pursue it? I don’t think so.  

According to the well-researched naming site sheknows.com, in Russian the meaning of the name Katya is: Pure.

They continue, “People with this name tend to be orderly and dedicated to building their lives on a solid foundation of order and service”

Sounds right on the mark to me.

It’s time to put our jackets on, hopefully laced with fur and travel to Katya’s village in Eastern Europe.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk.

Its strongest economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

Being in the middle of everywhere, there is much to do in Belarus. There is so much to speak of but one magical tourist destination stood out. The wonderful travel site lonelyplanet.com informs, “The 16th century Mir Castle rises above the town majestically and looks like something straight out of Disney. A painstaking renovation over the past decade has been completed and the place is looking simply lovely, with gorgeous grounds, impressively restored interiors and a huge display on the life and times of the Radziwills. The interiors of some rooms have been recreated, and though it’s clear that these weren’t the Romanovs, there’s plenty of attractive furniture to gawk at.”

Doesn’t it look inspiring and powerful?

No doubt to immigrants from times past, Ellis Island in New York held that same magic of hopes and dreams.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.…..Les Brown

The educational site history.com explains, “When Ellis Island opened, a great change was taking place in immigration to the United States. As arrivals from northern and western Europe–Germany, Ireland, Britain and the Scandinavian countries–slowed, more and more immigrants poured in from southern and Eastern Europe. Among this new generation were Jews escaping from political and economic oppression in czarist Russia and Eastern Europe (some 484,000 arrived in 1910 alone) and Italians escaping poverty in their country. There were also Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Serbs, Slovaks and Greeks, along with non-Europeans from Syria, Turkey and Armenia. The reasons they left their homes in the Old World included war, drought, famine and religious persecution, and all had hopes for greater opportunity in the New World.”

Composer Irving Berlin migrated from Russia, Comedian Bob Hope from England, Cosmetologist Max Factor from Poland, Actor Cary Grant from England, Actor Edward G. Robinson from Romania, Actor Rudolph Valentino from Italy and so many more, came to America, made their fortune and enhanced our culture.

Now its Katya’s turn.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wilhelmina.com photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wilhelmina.com photo

 

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http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/famous-passengers

http://www.history.com/topics/ellis-island

http://www.forbes.com/profile/andrew-peggy-cherng/

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nesvizh_Castle_2011.JPG#/media/File:Nesvizh_Castle_2011.JPG

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Folk_Festival_in_Vjazynka.JPG#/media/File:Folk_Festival_in_Vjazynka.JPG

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BLR_Mir_castle_1.jpg#/media/File:BLR_Mir_castle_1.jpg

https://www.instagram.com/katyazharkova/

http://www.zharkova.com/biography

https://twitter.com/ZharkovaKatya?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author

http://www.wilhelmina.com/los-angeles/models/curve/women/586078/katya-zharkova

http://www.plus-model-mag.com/2012/05/plus-size-model-katya-zharkova-strikes-a-pose/

http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/katya-zharkova

http://www.sheknows.com/baby-names/name/katya

http://www.belarus.by/en/about-belarus/key-facts

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/belarus/things-to-do