2017 Miss Polonia
Monika Niebrzydowska

From Miss Polonia Scholarship Essay:

I was born and raised in the United States; however, both of my parents are of Polish descent. I am grateful that I live within a household that upheld many Polish values and traditions, and because of that I am able to apprehend Polish when I read, write, and speak. Ever since I was a child, my weekends consisted of attending the Polish Consular School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn every Saturday. On Sundays, I would attend the Polish masses at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. I would always wait in anticipation for the next Pulaski Day Parade as well as the Polish Festival in Snug Harbor. In my house, we had one main rule: we must speak Polish at all times. Of course, I sometimes found this difficult to do- English is my first language after all, and reminding myself to speak Polish at home was a constant hurdle. Adding on to the fact, whenever I made a mistake while speaking with my father, I would always groan when he made me conjugate the cases of a word ( ,,Mianownik-kto co? Dopełniacz – kogo czego nie ma?”…). Although at times it was tough, I would not be the person that I am today without my acknowledgement of my ancestry and its effect that it has had on my daily life.

Speaking Polish and participating within the Polish community has provided me with many opportunities within my life. For instance, if I had not been able to speak Polish, I would never have attended World Youth Day this past summer. This year it was held in Kraków, Poland. I went with a group of teenagers from St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, and I can say with confidence that the experience changed my world and faith perspective. Also, through my participation during the mass at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, I discovered my passion for music. Ever since I was a little girl, I have sung during mass. To this day, I still sing during the mass in church, and I have sung many times in events within my Polish school, as well as during the Polish Festival. I currently am a vocal major at LaGuardia Arts High School in Manhattan, which is one of the 9 specialized high schools in New York City and the only one which provides a dual mission of both the arts and academics. Within this school, I took the opportunity of the variety of classes and have taken many AP classes, which have helped improve my perspective of the world. I have taken a variety of courses, from AP Human Geography to AP Computer Science Principles. Within my school, I also participate in the Disney Mentoring program, where I am able to partner with employees working in ABC, Disney, and ESPN and volunteer in a variety of places, such as with Meals on Wheels. Outside of school, I sometimes volunteer within the PASA (Polish American Sports Association) organization and assist in road races.

Being Miss Polonia would be a great honor. This title to me would be the culmination of many years of participating in the Polish community. I hope to represent Staten Island’s Polonia well as we march on 5th Avenue during the Pulaski Day Parade. The Polish community has meant so much to me and my daily life and I wish to give back.

2017 Junior Miss Polonia
Natalia Chrapusta

My parents are Polish and I’m proud of my Polish heritage

Other things I enjoy are gymnastics and swimming. I also love music.

I enjoy mathematics, art and poetry in both languages English and Polish. Learning is my passion! I’m also proud laureate of various competitions in English and Polish. Some of them are; International Literacy Competition of Wanda Chotomska, The Special Talent Show, “I’m Polish” competition, and the 2017 Science Fair.

My name is Natalia Chrapusta. I am nine years old. I was born in Staten Island, New York. I’m a third grader at P.S. 58, the Space Shuttle Columbia School and a third grader of Polish Supplementary School at Henryk Sienkiewicz in Brooklyn, New York.