Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia Scholarships 2019

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Scholarship Recipients: (l. to r.)
1. Julia Mille Tomczak 2. Kamil Karpiak 3. Emma Szymanski 4. Emilia Rozbicka 5. Matthew Ziarnik 6. (not present) Matthew Purcell

About our scholarship recipients:

This year six scholarships of $1,000 dollars were given. The Wnukowski Family funded a scholarship in memory of Regina and Joseph Wnukowski. This was awarded to Emilia Rozbicka. Debbie and Henry F. Majka, through the Philadelphia Foundation, funded a scholarship which was awarded to Emma Szymanski.

Julia Millie Tomczak is a senior at Central Bucks High School with dual enrollment at Bucks County Community College. She maintains a 4.0 Grade Point Average at both schools. Julia excels in her chosen sport: precision rifle marksmanship. She has received multiple awards including the High Ladies Award in 2018 from the Delaware and Hudson Rifle Leagues at West Point, NY, and participated in the USA Junior Shooting Olympics in Colorado. Julia plans to use the scholarship to further her education at Delaware Valley University where she will study Food Science and Chemistry.

Kamil Karpiak is completing his senior year at Daniel Boone Area High School in Birdsboro, PA. Kamil excels academically while pursuing his passion: music. He is a member of the Tri-M Music Honors Society, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (Oboe Section Leader), the Reading Symphony and Youth Orchestra. He shares his talents by giving monthly piano and oboe recitals at the Keystone Villa Retirement Home. Kamil admires the work of Chopin and in his essay wrote beautifully about the impact Chopin has on his life, his attitude toward an audience and his career choice. Kamil has applied to a number of prestigious programs such as Eastman and Julliard. He hopes to one day perform with an orchestra while also exploring reed-making. Since there is a difference in the American and the European approach to reed manufacture and styles, Kamil sees this as an expression of his multi-cultural heritage.

Emma Szymanski is in her freshman year at Temple University where she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology. She is in the process of applying to the Honors Program. Her GPA in the first semester was 3.85 and she received Dean's List recognition. Emma is proud of her family's personal history and her Polish Heritage. In order to keep this heritage alive, she and other students at Temple are organizing a Polish Heritage Club on Campus. While a student at Renaissance Academy Emma excelled in Honors Level and Advanced Placement courses. Her school activities included: National Honors Society, Co-exist Club, a service trip to Costa Rica and dancing in the Nutcracker Ballet.

Emilia Rozbicka attended high school in Poland but decided to pursue her education in the United States. At the age of 19 she left her family and friends to search for wider opportunities. Emilia currently attends Camden County Community College where she majors in biology. She lives with her grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins. Her aunt is her model who provided reassurance and encouragement, as she is one generation away from Emilia's experience. When she arrived last year, Emilia's English was limited and she had to work hard to improve her language skills in order to continue her academic success. In this she proved relentless. Currently she shadows doctors at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, NJ. Her goal is to become a physician's assistant.

Matthew Ziarnik is a freshman at Villanova University majoring in Civil Engineering. His current GPA is 3.78 and illustrated a tremendous commitment to his studies and a well developed work ethic. He is continuing a pattern of academic achievement that began in high school where he completed a total of eight Advanced Placement courses. (This translates into an impressive 28 college credits!) In addition to his academic work at Villanova he is involved in campus life. He is co-president and founder of the Polish-American Cultural Society at the university; a member of the Villanova Singers and the Engineering Student Council. Matthew hopes to become a licensed professional engineer. He plans to earn an advanced degree which will allow him to teach in an university setting. Matthew states that several teachers helped him to be a better student and he wants to be that person to others.

Matthew Purcell was not able to attend the ceremony (his mom was there to represent him), because on May 5th he was attending the Connelly Foundation event at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia where as a Neuman Scholar he was asked to speak. He was ranked as number one in the class standings of his senior class at Father Judge High School. During his time there Matt took part in a large number of Advanced Placement courses (4 this year alone) while involved in a rich volunteer life in his school, community and parish (St. Albert the Great). Among his activities were: Student Council, National Honor Society, School Newspaper, Mathletes, Soccer, Swimming, Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track. He was named to the All-Catholic teams for swimming and track. He earned a 1530 score on his SAT exam which positions him well for his future career in engineering.


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Scholarship Recipients and Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia Scholarship Committee Members
PHSP President Jean Joka, Secretary Diana Blichasz, Vice-president Marie Hejnosz
Students: Julia Mille Tomczak, Kamil Karpiak, Emma Szymanski, Emilia Rozbicka, Matthew Ziarnik
Scholarship Committee Chair Dolores Szymanski, Treasurer and Hon. RP Consul Debbie Majka, Peter J. Obst