Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia Scholarships 2022
(l. to r.) PHSP President Marie Hejnosz, Olivia Dallmer, Tess Majkut, Kathryn Belkowski, Teresa G. Wojcik, Debbie Majka, Dolores Szymanski
Teresa Wojcik served as the Scholarship Chairperson for the Scholarship Committee of the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia this year. The members of the Scholarship Committee were: Diana Blichasz, Debbie Majka, Peter Obst, Dolores Szymanski.
This year, our awardees have wonderful academic accomplishments, service activities, and extra-curricular involvement. They are honors students graduating magna or summa cum laude in school. They have taken multiple AP courses. They have engaged in significant volunteer and service work. And they are involved in sports, dance, theatre, and other clubs. Despite their unique family histories and individual biographies, they also expressed some important similarities in their application essays.
1. They are very proud of their Polish ancestry and believe that their Polish heritage has helped to shape who they are as individuals.
2. They cherish aspects of Polish culture that they have experienced since their childhoods: eating Polish cuisine, celebrating Polish traditions at Christmas and Easter, and learning about their grandparents or great-grandparents origins in Poland.
3. They all had a very special relationship with their grandmothers (Babcias)! All of the applicants mentioned that they drew inspiration from their grandmothers, whom they described as extremely hard-working and loving.
The family members of our scholarship winners - the parents and grandparents - who have successfully passed on the Polish heritage to their children deserve a lot of credit as well.
- 12th grade student at La Salle College High School; to which he earned a four-year scholarship
- At La Salle, president of the multi-cultural club
- His Social Studies teacher wrote of him: "Not often have I come across a student with a similar combination of commitment to inquiry and intellectual fortitude."
- In the fall, Noah will attend Boston College and Major in finance.
- Great-grandparents, Stanislaw and Janina Pieniazek, were displaced persons during WWII and who met in Germany during the war at a work camp and eventually made their way to the United States.
- Is a senior at Pope John Paull II High School in Royersford.
- Ranked second in her class
- Teaches dance to underprivileged children through an organization in Norristown - She shared an anecdote about how her family makes pierogi for Wigilia and how they form an assembly line; one person rolls out the dough, another adds the filling, another person pinches them closed. They commented how "great-grandmother would make dozens of pierogi by herself, and we need an assembly line!"
- Will start studies in the fall and major in elementary education
- Senior at Central Bucks High School
- Olivia is a three-sport student athlete who will letter in volleyball, indoor track, and outdoor track and field.
- Will start in the fall and major in Medical Studies with the goal of becoming a physician assistant and positively impacting the lives of others through caring, compassionate health care.
- Senior at Villa Joseph Marie High School, this year's valedictorian
- All-Catholic track and field, all-star volleyball athlete
- Her mathematics teacher wrote of Tess: "In my 27 years of teaching, Tess Majkut is one of the finest students I have encountered. She is incredibly bright, notably meticulous, and amazingly kind. We would love a classroom full of students like Tess."
- Will attend university and major in neuroscience with the hopes of someday earning a PhD in psychology and attending medical school to contribute to a cure for dementia
- Senior at Catholic High School
- Military kid who has moved 5 times with her family due to military orders, so she has attended 3 grade schools and 3 high schools.
- Her resiliency attained academic success and she is also involved heavily in theatre, crew, and service to her various parishes as a lector, cantor, and altar server.
- Natalie has also kept connected to her Polish heritage through volunteerism in Polish organizations and events.
- Will major in marketing at Old Dominion University in the fall
The Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia is dedicated to fostering an interest in Polish Heritage and culture, as well as spreading an awareness of the accomplishments of Poles and Polish-Americans throughout the world, most especially in the Unites States.
The scholarship program of the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia represents the organization's commitment to investing in the development of future leaders through the support of their academic endeavors.
Scholarship Recipients at mass in the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa
(photo courtesy of Marie Hejnosz)