Meet This Year's Debutantes
Rachel Carlson is a senior at Huntley High School and is representing the third generation of Legion debutantes in the Poczatek Family. Rachel enjoys playing sports and has participated in cross country, track, and soccer in her three years at Huntley High School. Rachel is also active in her high school’s chapter of National Honor Society where she serves as the Director of Service. As Director of Service, Rachel has been instrumental in the formation and successful implementation of a remote based tutoring program that connects NHS members with students in grades three through five to support these students through the challenges of remote learning during the pandemic. Rachel is an honor student and has great interest in her STEM courses and plans to pursue this interest into college. Outside of school, Rachel is a member of the Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program where she attends monthly events that expose her to potential career paths in healthcare while exposing her to mentoring and networking opportunities. After high school, Rachel’s future plans are to study in a STEM related field with hopes to travel abroad to continue learning about her own culture and others. With a rich family history of participation in the White and Red Ball, she is excited to carry on the tradition and represent the third generation of her family and well as display her pride in her Polish heritage.
Maeve Ciesla is currently a Junior at Lyons Township High School, in Western Springs, Illinois. As a freshman, she auditioned for the Speech Team and was accepted.Over the past three years she participated in the team's Duet Acting event and Public Address events. Along with winning in National competitions, she won 3rd place in the National Bradley University competition in 2019. This year, Maeve is one of the team’s Event Leads, and still winning medals. She has been an Honor Roll Student every semester of High School and earned the Academic Letter Award for the class of 2023. Maeve enjoys her classes, creating artwork, and playing the violin. Outside of school, she works as a cashier at Casey’s Market in Western Springs, attends St. John of the Cross Parish, and volunteers for Polish and local charities. Maeve is honored to be a third generation debutante, following the beautiful tradition of her grandmother, Maria Bronny-Ciesla (debuted 1966), Aunt Elizabeth Ciesla-Hodgson (debuted 1987), Aunt Alexandra Ciesla-Cornwell (Debuted 1998), Cousin Madeline Rose Hodgson (debuted 2017).
Klaudia Jarek is a senior at Lake Park High School in Roselle. She is a dedicated student with the Highest Honor Roll, taking mostly AP classes. Klaudia is the daughter of Polish immigrants. She is passionate about music and she plays piano and percussion. Currently, she’s participating in the drumline in the Lake Park Marching Band and spends her off season competing in indoor drumline with Crystal Lake Thunder in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Klaudia graduated Polish School Faustyny Kowalskiej in Lombard; she mastered the Polish language and learned a lot about Polish history. Her family celebrates traditional Polish Holidays with family and cousins. She visited Poland with her mom throughout the years and visited places like Warsaw Uprising Museum, Częstochowa, Krakow, Auschwitz, Tarnow, Bialystok. A nature lover, she enjoys extreme sports like ATV’s, snowboarding, zip lining, waterfall rappelling, hiking, and playing volleyball. She is eager to turn 18 so she can make her dream of skydiving come true! Outside of school, she works, lifts weights and spends time with friends! After High School, Klaudia plans on pursuing a medical field in Cardiology.
Marianna Mosz is a sophomore at Taft High School in Chicago, IL. She is a dedicated, honor roll student and currently in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at school. The IB program encourages both personal and academic achievement, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal development. Her parents are Polish immigrants, making her a first-generation Polish-American. She expanded her knowledge of the Polish language, geography, and history by studying at St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe Polish School in Chicago. Her love for the Polish culture grew after the many visits to Poland, and especially her parents’ hometown, Bielsko-Biała. Marianna is proud to spread her Polish culture through song and dance and has been a member of the Polonia Polish Folk Song and Dance Ensemble for the past 13 years. Polonia has traveled to many countries around the world such as Poland, Costa Rica, Croatia, Greece, Bosnia, and Italy, where they are able to showcase their passion and dedication to spread the beautiful Polish culture and traditions. Polonia has also been included on the cover of Vogue Poland, where they embraced their Polish culture in Chicago. Marianna is also very dedicated to Ballroom Latin dancing and has been dancing in Interclub Academy of Dance for the past 9 years and competing in dance for the past 6 years, under Iwona and Erwin Rybczyński. She is currently in the open gold level, competing nationally. Her commitment to singing started when she was around eight years old in the Wicherki children's choir, and now she is part of the Nadzieja choir operating at the St. Constance parish. She is also been a part of a Polish choir, Słowiki under Eliza and Arkadiusz Górecki, for the past 3 years. After graduating from high school, she plans to pursue a career in dentistry.
Jennifer Rigo-Wojnicka is 18 years old and a recent graduate from Niles Highschool. In the future she sees herself working in Forensic Medicine, and is fascinated by the idea of working with many organizations to further her knowledge of medicine. She has always been passionate about Polish culture, and is proud to be Polish. Since she was a little girl, her family annually traveled to Poland. Last year, she stayed a few months longer to learn more about Polish culture and traditions. Her parents had her attend a Polish dance club and she took violin lessons there as well. In addition to fluently speaking Polish, she loves Polish music, dancing, and traditions. She is delighted to be a debutante of the 2022 White and Red Ball and have the opportunity to learn more about Polish dances and traditions.
Maya Pawlusiewicz is a dedicated and hard-working honor roll student at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview. She is a committed open gold ballroom and Latin dancer at Interclub Academy of Dance in Niles who competes nationally with her dance partner, Adam. She started ballet and tap dance at the age of 3 and proceeded to transition into the ballroom community. With all of her hard work and consistent training she has been awarded first place in championships and scholarships at almost every competition. Later in the future, she wants to continue her passion as a professional for this beautiful sport. She attends Juliusz Slowacki Polish School in Wheeling, IL in hopes and determination of expanding her knowledge about Polish culture and history. She has continued to keep progressing at Polish school after learning from the work of her grandma's international Polish school books. Maya is a proud second-generation Polish and American citizen. Maya and her family visit Milówka, Poland every year to embrace the Polish culture as well as visit and assist her góralski family with their restaurant/hotel. Maya is an avid member of two Polish camps, both in Poland and Wisconsin. She volunteers as a junior counselor at Camp Vista to help maintain a clean camp, and nourish the younger campers. She hopes that one day she can become a counselor and be a mentor for the younger kids. In the future, she wishes to become a successful surgeon and extend her knowledge at medical school in Illinois.
Kayla Wisneski is an 18 year old honors student at Lake Forest High School. Her favorite subjects are literature and Journalism. She loves writing articles for the school newspaper, and singing in the school choir. She also enjoys her teacher’s assistant position in the integrated classroom, working with the special needs students. Her passion is to write, for both storytelling and reportive purposes. She has won many creative writing contests, for both stories and poetry. She intends to pursue a career in Journalism. She spends much of her free time reading, but also loves to play the ukulele, and enjoy musical theater. She is also a member of her high school’s Religious Diversity club, through which she shares her Polish traditions with peers. She has grown up with Polish roots on both sides of her family, and started participating with the Legion over the past 5 years. The White and Red Ball is also a family tradition, spanning multiple generations in her family. She is so excited to continue the tradition, and have her own magical experience being a Debutante!
Kaya Wzorek is a 2022 graduate at James B. Conant Highschool and attended Czesława Miłosza Polish school for 3 years. She is a first-generation Polish-American and the oldest daughter in her family. In Conant, Kaya takes advanced & AP engineering, math, and science classes in hopes to accelerate her education in the engineering field. She is currently planning to study and earn a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Even though Covid-19 created a limit on how often she could participate in school, she is an active member of the National Honors Society and a leader in her school's Medical Careers Club. She is also a member of Conant’s Fellowship of Christian Students. With her persistent studying, Kaya has made her school’s honor roll every semester. Outside of school, Kaya takes part in her church’s High School Ministry. When it comes to her Polish heritage, Kaya is proud to celebrate her Polish culture with friends and family. She visited her family in Poland in 2018 and is anticipating visiting again once travel restrictions loosen. As a new member of the Legion of Polish Women, Kaya hopes to make a big impact with the Legion and hopes to encourage other Polish girls to celebrate their culture.