Polish or American?
Stephanie Jaczkowski - Warsaw, Poland
Growing up in a Polish-American family was always a little different. Unfortunately, the Polish language disappeared from my family when my grandparents passed away, but the culture and traditions are still vibrantly practiced in our house. My family celebrates Christmas with a meatless dinner on Christmas Eve and, growing up St. Nicholas came to our house on December 4. Our Easter eggs weren't only dyed with bright colors, but special eggs were carefully crafted with wax and deep, rich colors, a process called pisanki. I started Polish dancing when I was four years old and continue to this day.
European Roads to Freedom
Joseph Corey - Warsaw, Poland
While studying abroad in Warsaw, Poland, I had the privilege to attend a council meeting of the European Democrat Students. I left Warsaw with a Polish delegation and spent four days in the city of Gdansk with other students from Europe, Israel, and Turkey. The council meeting addressed the fascinating and pertinent issue of "European Roads to Freedom." Learning about this topic, in the city of Gdansk, was a truly surreal experience. This beautiful city, located near the Baltic coast, was both the starting place of World War II in Europe, and the birthplace of Solidarity, a Polish labor movement which lit the initial spark of freedom across the former Soviet bloc.