Meet This Year's Debutantes
Katie Mari Bozek is a senior at Lake Park High School in Roselle. She is the daughter of Polish immigrants and is a first-generation Polish-American. Katie attended Holy Trinity Polish School and graduated in 2020. Throughout the 12 years she spent as a student, she mastered the Polish language and had the opportunity to learn a lot about Polish history. Her family celebrates traditional Polish holidays and they visit Poland frequently. The family keeps the culture close to their hearts and honors its roots by using the polish language daily at home. Katie is a dedicated honor roll student and has taken many AP courses throughout her high school career. She is passionate about giving back to her community and helping others. Katie volunteers at Elmhurst Hospital, where she tends to patients in the emergency room; assisting them, and restocking the patient rooms. Volunteering is very rewarding and she firmly believes that community is built through group efforts and giving back. Additionally, Katie is an employee of LifeTime Fitness and works in the Kids Academy. Outside of work and school, she nannies and tutors many lovely children in her community. Katie has a passion for music, she’s been playing piano since kindergarten and picked up the flute in middle school. In her free time, Katie enjoys reading, meeting up with friends, and dancing. Next year, Katie will continue her education at the University of Florida majoring in biochemical engineering on the pre-med track. As a new member of the Legion of Young Polish Women, Katie hopes to make an impact by encouraging other Polish girls to celebrate their culture.
Veronica Chudoba is a senior at Niles West High School in Skokie, IL. With her determined personality, she is in all Honors and AP classes straight A's, has received the Red Honor Roll each year, and is part of the National Honor Society. Her favorite subjects are Anatomy and Accounting, and she intends to pursue both majors in college. At school, she tutors during her free periods, and is part of the Varsity Tennis team. She partakes in DECA, Polish, ASL, and Mental Health Clubs. Her most time consuming activity is Figure Skating as she has been doing it since she was 6, and continues to skate daily: starting as early at 6AM or staying late until 7PM. Not only does she skate but she also works as an assistant coach and helps with Learn to Skate classes, introducing the magic of skating to kids ages 3-12. Her parents are Polish immigrants, making her a first-generation Polish-American. By attending Marie Sklodowska-Curie Polish school in Niles, she was able to further her education and knowledge on her culture. She took and passed the Matura in geography, history, and grammar and she took a Certification Exam which she passed as well. Later this year she will be taking the Seal of Biliteracy test to further prove her Polish fluency. She started dancing with the Polish Folk Group Polonia when she was 3 years old and continued to dance for 5 years. She also took Ballroom Dance lessons when she was 5 at the Interclub Academy of Dance and danced for 7 years. She loves visiting Poland, especially Rzeszow and Zakopane, where her family is from. She is joining the Legion this year and is glad she will be starting a new tradition in her family to keep her Polish roots firmly in the ground to continue on for many generations.
Julie Chyzynski is a freshman at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is studying Mathematics Education with plans to become a high school math teacher here in Chicago, IL. 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 the Tadeusz Kosciuszko School of Polish Language. Her love for Polish culture grew after her many visits to Poland, especially with her dance group Polonia Polish Folk and Song Ensemble. Julie is proud to spread her Polish culture through song and dance and has been a member of Polonia for the past 8 years. Polonia has traveled to many countries around the world such as Poland, Costa Rica, Croatia, Indonesia, and Italy, where they were able to showcase their passion and dedication to spreading the beautiful Polish culture and traditions. Polonia has also been included on the cover of Vogue Poland and had the privilege of sharing the stage with Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble, a professional group from Poland. She was an active member of the Polish Club at her high school, Lane Tech College Prep, where she taught and performed polish folk dances with fellow Polish American students. Julie is excited to be a Debutante and is looking forward to her time as a part of the Legion of Young Polish Women!
Natalia Czernecka is a junior at Dominican University in Chicago, IL. She is a dedicated Dominican scholar and currently is working on receiving her bachelors degree in secondary Education with an English major at school. She strives to become a good teacher, learning skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy and patience. Natalia is also passionate about writing in her free time. She has the goal of publishing two books by the time she turns twenty-five and continues to work hard on honing both personal and academic achievements. 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 Polska Szkoła im. I.J. Paderewskiego in Niles. Her love for the Polish culture grew after the many visits to Poland, and especially her parents’ hometown, Wola Rzędzińska. Natalia is proud to spread her Polish culture and heritage through her many American connections. It is a blessing for her to be able to share her polish dishes, customs, and traditions with others that aren’t familiar with the culture. Natalia is proud to be a part of the organization, the Legion of Young Polish Women, as she is able to allow her beautiful heritage to bleed into her many relationships here in the states. The Legion of Young Polish Women allows her to interact and deepen her experiences with the Polish culture and new found friends from her root culture.
Emilia Dubiel is a junior at Lane Tech College Prep High School. She is a hardworking and dedicated honor roll student, taking honors and Advanced Placement classes. At school she also participates in Breast Cancer Awareness club, Volunteer Opportunity club, and Polish club. Emilia is a first generation Polish-American. In addition to growing up speaking Polish as a first language, she has been attending St. Ferdinand Polish School since kindergarten, developing her education in Polish history, geography, and grammar. Her upcoming graduation in 2023 will mark a milestone in her life for the 12 years of commitment to her Polish education. Emilia hopes to pursue a career related to nursing or veterinary medicine. She loves visiting her family in Krosno, Poland during the summer and learning more about Polish culture and traditions. One of her biggest passions is dance, and she has been dancing at Studio of Performing Arts JUMP for 12 years. Through dance, she is able to express her creative side and showcase it in the studio's two annual shows. Another big part of her life is her membership in the Polish Scouting Organization. Being a part of this organization has taught her leadership, teamwork, helping others, and also skills such as Morse code, survival, and map reading. She currently serves as an assistant to the leader of the troop Turnie, part of Hufiec Tatry in Chicago. She enjoys going on hiking and backpacking trips around the US with her scouting group. She is the first in her family to be a debutante in the White and Red Ball, and is so excited to have this opportunity to represent her Polish heritage.
Eliza Ashley Incledon is a senior, an “A” Honor Sentinel Scholar at Evangelical Christian School in Fort Myers, Florida. She is originally from the Chicagoland area and attended Holy Family Catholic Academy in Inverness, along with Fryderyk Chopin Polish School in Palatine. While academics are her main focus, the best part of her education centers around team activities and leadership opportunities, such as Swim Team and Musical Productions. She is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS), International Thespian Society and has participated in GlobalNext International Leadership Conferences, which has taken her to England. She is currently an intern with Polish American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) and looks forward to expanding her Polish business knowledge and meeting new people. Outside of her studies, she is actively involved in Swim Team, Math Club, Chess Club, Cinematography Club, Board Game Club, Choir, and volunteers throughout the community. In Fall 2023, she is excited to spread her wings and head off to college.
Veronica is an 18 year old student at Hersey High School. Her favorite subjects are Psychology and Sociology. She would like to commit to Indiana University to move forward with her education and major in Psychology and minor in Architecture. She spends most of her free time working out at the gym with her friends and cooking for her family. She is also a member of her high school’s Polish Club and Track Team, where she shares all her Polish traditions with her friends and teachers and she is one of the best track athletes on her team getting 1st and 2nd place after every race. She enjoys going to Camp Vista every year and hanging out with all her Polish friends. That is how she met her very best friend Maya Pawlusiewicz and they have been inseparable ever since. She will now be a Counselor this coming summer and she is very excited to spend time with her campers. She is also an avid animal lover. She has 4 dogs that she loves very much. She is excited to become a debutante and be presented at this year’s White and Red Ball.
Emilia Radlinski is a junior at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights. She is an honor roll student as well as an athlete, participating in St. Viator’s varsity field hockey and track teams. She is an ambitious student who challenges herself with Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Aside from her academic achievements in high school, she is also preparing to graduate from Holy Trinity Polish School where she has been cultivating her knowledge of Poland’s history, geography, and language. Emilia is an active member of Chicago’s Polish community, serving in leadership roles in the Polish Scouting Organization (Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego) and dancing for the organization’s song and dance ensemble, Lechici, the oldest Polish dance group in the Chicagoland. By participating in ZHP and Lechici, she is carrying on her family’s tradition set forth by her parents, who met through their participation in these groups. One of Emilia’s passions is music; she has been playing piano for nearly a decade under the instruction of Mrs. Pola Cieżóbka. She has also been an active member of her school’s choir. She performs in biannual piano concerts as well as the Illinois Music Association’s yearly music competition where she has received multiple awards for her outstanding performances. Looking toward the future, Emilia has high aspirations: her goal is to enter the medical field, specifically working in genetics. She is excited to be a part of the Red and White Ball to further develop and refine skills that will make her successful now and in the future.
Elisabeth Skorupa is a 16 year old sophomore at Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park, Illinois. Proud of her Polish heritage, Elisabeth has attended Polish school since age 4 and has learned the Polish language thus gaining an appreciation of Polish history and culture. Elisabeth's mother, Dr. Anna Maria Wegierek Skorupa is from Katowice, Poland and Elisabeth's father, Kenneth Skorupa, is a second generation descendent of Polish heritage. Elisabeth is an honors student and participates in a variety of extra-curricular activities at her school. She is on the student council, writes for the school newspaper and is a member of the Sports Medicine club. She is an academic peer tutor and volunteers at the school's athletic training room. Elisabeth is an accomplished athlete and plays for her school's volleyball team and plays club volleyball. She also enjoys basketball, ice skating, skiing and many other athletic activities. Elisabeth plays the piano and guitar and she loves listening to music. She has volunteered for several organizations and was a junior camp counselor, library assistant and babysitter. Beth would like to work in the medical field and has focused on math and science in her high school curriculum. She assisted her mother, Dr. Wegierek, in organizing the Polish Women for Women conference in 2019 and would like to continue to support women's programs. Elisabeth is proud to participate in this year's ball as a debutante.
Anna Smetek is a 16-year-old honors student at Marist High School in Chicago. She is a first-generation Polish-American devoted to her culture and Polish studies. Anna has been surrounded by Polish traditions and values thanks to her parents. She is a member of “Siumni,” a Polish Highlander Folk Ensemble in the USA. The group performed all over the United States and various countries during numerous festivals. Anna has won multiple awards for dancing and singing and enjoys singing at Church. Additionally, after graduating as Valedictorian from the School of Culture and Polish language of Zbigniew Herbert, she now teaches the younger generations Polish language, culture, and geography. She enjoys helping the community and, like her family, has been part of the You Can Be My Angel Foundation, a childhood Cancer Foundation. Outside of her rigorous school curriculum, Anna likes to participate in outside activities like Student Council, National Honor Society (NHS), Spanish National Honor Society (SNHS), Polish Club, and playing on her highschool’s soccer and tennis team. In the recent summer, she spent two weeks at a program enriching and learning about law at the University of Oxford. She hopes to continue her studies and pursue a career in law in the future.
Kamila Wojdyla is a senior at Willow Canyon High School in Surprie, Arizon, and places great value in her education. She has received an International General Certificate of Secondary Education through the International Cambridge program while enrolled in various International Baccalaureate courses and is a member of the National Honor Society. Upon graduating, she will attend Northern Arizona University to pursue a degree in History. As the daughter of two Polish immigrants, she is incredible proud of her heritage and seeks opportunities that allow her to connect with and give back to the Polish community. She graduated from Saint John Paul II Polish Saturday School at the Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, receiving the highest score on the Matura final examination. In 2019 she passed the LOTE (Language Other That Polish) exam and regularly volunteers at the church's annual Polish Festival and local Polish American Congress picnics. When she is not studying or attending class, she enjoys dancing, drawing, and playing with her dog, Simba. While her mother, Kathy Wojdyla, and sister, Gabriela Wojdyla, are both active Legion members, she is thrilled to be presented as the family's first debutante!