Meet the 2024 debutantes!
Grace Ann Cioromski
Grace Ann Cioromski is a sophomore at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, IL. Grace is enrolled in AP classes and is involved in many extracurricular activities including Varsity Tennis, Lacrosse, Marching Band and Symphonic Band, Polish Club, Key Club (club for volunteering) and Hawk Pals Club where she helps individuals with special education requirements. Grace also enjoys playing the piano and horseback riding in her free time. Grace has worked her summers as a camp counselor, babysitting for kids throughout her community, and volunteers yearly at the Copernicus Center’s annual Taste of Polonia. Grace comes from a big family of 5 siblings, along with their spouses and children, whom she is very close to, have always supported and encouraged her throughout her life. Grace hopes to follow in her parents’ footsteps in entrepreneurship as they both have built and run their own businesses. Grace Ann Cioromski comes from a deep routed history in the Legion of Young Polish Women, her grandmother Grazyna Cioromski (Past President 1976-1978), Aunt Christine (Debutante 1974) Cousin Jacquelyn (Queen 2001) Cousin Kelsey (Debutante 2006) and Sister Morgan (Queen 2009). Grace is excited to be a debutante and more importantly to be part of supporting the philanthropic goals of the Legion of Young Polish Women and continuing the family legacy.
Magdalena Gasienica-Sobczak is a 16 year old first generation Polish American attending Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in her Sophomore year. She is enrolled in all honors and advanced placement classes and takes much pride in being captain of the girls Junior Varsity volleyball team. She is actively involved in other school organizations including the Polish Club and plays center back on the school's girl’s soccer team. Magdalena is also currently completing her second year of liceum at Szkola Jezyka i Kultury Polskiej im. Z. Herberta. Magdalena has danced in several Polish Highlander dance groups since the age of 5 and won various awards for her singing and dancing ability in the Polish Highlander style. She has recently been invited to join Zespol Siumni, which is one of the most highly regarded Zespol in Chicago. Magdalena fills her time after school pursuing her love of volleyball as a setter on the 1st Alliance Lions South travel club for 16 year olds and traveling regionally competing in many volleyball tournaments. She continues her love of music by continuing to play the piano classical and competing in local competitions. For the past year she has expanded her musical talents with learning the accordion in pursuit of her love to play Polish style music. Every year Magdalena refines her Polish language skills while she returns to Poland to spend part of her summer vacation in the Tatra mountains visiting with family and friends. There she surrounds herself with culture by attending performances of local Polish Highlander dance ensembles and explores the valleys and mountains of the region. She is always immersed in the Highlander dialect, the beauty of Poland, and the duality of loving the roots of the country of her heart.
Aleksandra Glodz is a 17-year-old junior at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, IL. She is a principal honor roll student, currently enrolled in both honors and Advanced Placement classes. She is the daughter of Polish immigrants and is a first-generation Polish-American. Aleksandra’s family keeps their Polish roots and culture close to their hearts by speaking the Polish language at home and celebrating traditional Polish holidays. She expanded her knowledge of the Polish language and history at St. Ferdinand Polish School and will graduate this May 2024. She actively partakes in her Polish school’s theater group, “Pasja,” and catholic youth group. Aleksandra's favorite subject is math. She intends to pursue a career in accounting after graduating from high school. She also loves traveling to Poland every summer. One of her biggest passions is dance, which she has pursued for the past 13 years from ballet to ballroom to folk. Aleksandra is part of the Lane Tech Polish Club dance group, where she showcases her Polish heritage through dance and Polish traditions. Aleksandra is her family’s first-ever debutante and is proud to join the Legion of Young Polish Women, hoping to inspire other Polish girls to embrace their culture.
Veronika Gromek is a senior at William H. Taft High School. She has a strong passion for dance and STEM. Having danced and performed with the Polish folk group ZPiT Lajkonik for 14 years, she has developed a great appreciation for Polish culture and heritage. Veronika is the daughter of two Polish immigrant parents, Agata and Bogdan Gromek. She graduated from Polska Szkoła im. Trójcy Świętej; has a great knowledge of her culture's history, geography, and literature. In addition to being the President of Taft High School's Polish club, Veronika takes on various responsibilities such as planning meetings, choreographing the club's performance for International Night, and fundraising. She is also a LEGO League Mentor and volunteers countless hours to teach STEM to children in her community, aiming to inspire the next generation of innovators and leaders. Veronika constantly strives for academic success and is a member of the National Honor Society, currently enrolled in numerous AP and honors classes. After graduation, she plans to attend university to pursue a degree in architecture. She aims to open a studio and continue contributing to her community through her artistic hobbies and services.
Weronika Komperda is a 22 year old first generation Polish American. She is a 2019 graduate of East Leyden High School where she earned a seal of biliteracy for proficiency in the Polish language on her diploma. She attended Polish school from Kindergarten to Grade 8 where she learned to read and write Polish and earned the highest marks. Weronika connected with her heritage by learning Polish Highlander dances and songs from the age of 6. She is passionate about music. She was a member of her school’s choir department and has been honored to perform at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as an alumni. Weronika is currently working for American Family Insurance where she assists customers with servicing their personal policies. She is passionate about the industry and is pursuing her license in the life and health lines to protect the lives of customers and their families during their most trying times. She was inspired by the loss of her father and grandfather and seeing the impact it had on her family. In her free time, Weronika likes to spend time with her family while hiking and snowboarding with her parents and siblings. Weronika looks forward to being a debutante and a member of LYPW to continue to connect with her culture and connect with more of the Polish community. Through her involvement, she hopes to spread more positivity in the world and to give back to her communities to honor her father and grandfather.
Olivia Kowalczyk, a first generation Polish-American, is a 15-year-old honors student at Wheeling High School. Throughout her academic career, Olivia has earned a President’s Education Award. She participates in extracurricular activities such as Peer Tutoring, Environmental Club, and DECA. She has played the violin for 6 years and serves as a historian on the school's Orchestra Council. Olivia has been actively organizing her school's Polish Club in hopes of growing the Polish community. She has also been a student at Juliusz Slowacki Polish school since the age of 4, where she likes to learn about the rich history of Poland. She enjoys volunteering at her church, where she sings and reads during masses. Outside of her studies, Olivia plays tennis at local clubs. She has been a member of her school's Varsity Tennis Team since freshman year and has received awards for her performance. One of her biggest passions is Polish folk dance. She has been a part of “Wici” Song and Dance Ensemble for multiple years, performing in different festivals and concerts. She even had the opportunity to dance in Italy in the summer of 2023. In the future, she hopes to enrich her studies and travel. Olivia has a great passion for helping others, which is one of the reasons she has joined the Legion of Young Polish Women. She is ready to serve her community while enriching her love for Polish culture.
Maja Nagi is a junior at Lane Tech College Prep, where she is an honor roll student, taking both honors and AP classes. She is engaged in clubs like Unified Buddies Club where she works with students with disabilities, Food Pantry Club, and Criminology and Book Clubs. As a first generation Polish American, for the past 12 years, she has been a student at Tadeusz Kościuszko Polish School. There she has actively volunteered, achieved high ranks, represented the school’s Theatre Circle in various Christmas and Polish Independence plays, and will be graduating this coming spring. Maja is also a dancer for Polonia Folk Song and Dance Ensemble where she shares her passion for dance and Polish culture through performances in Chicago, the U.S. and all throughout the world. With them she's gotten the chance to dance with Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble and explore dances from Poland’s different regions. Maja is also very enthusiastic about her art, which she uses for various art competitions and academic decathlons. She loves spending time with her family and her newly adopted dog Lumi. She has a huge passion for travel, especially visiting her grandparents and close family in the Subcarpathian part of Poland (a total of 9 times so far). For her, being raised with Polish roots has been a privilege that she hopes to pass onto her children one day. Being a debutante for the Legion of Young Polish Women for Maja as well as her family is another exciting endeavor.
Ela Planica is a senior at Maine East High School where she is an active member in the theater department, participating in all of the school's productions and was elected to be the Thespian president. She has a passion for music, singing in the school choir, the a cappella group and plays the guitar and ukulele. She participates in her school’s National Honor Society and volunteers at St. Emily elementary school. Ela attended Nicolaus Copernicus Polish school and graduated last year. She has been a member of The Polish Scouting Organization of America since the age of four and has created strong bonds to her Polish culture and friendships through this empowering organization. She dances in Lechici, the oldest Polish folk dance group in the Chicagoland area and enjoys learning regional songs and dances. In her spare time, Ela enjoys reading and baking where she explores Polish recipes. She loves nature, often going skiing or camping with family. She aspires to be an actress and will further study acting in college. She is excited to follow in the family tradition of partaking as a debutante in The White and Red Ball and is eager to experience her own magical night.
Julia Ufir is a senior at Lane Tech College Prep High School. She is an Honor Roll student taking all Honors and AP classes. At Lane, she is part of the Cross Country team, a member of Polish Club, as well as the Co-President of Think Pink, a breast cancer awareness club. Julia is a volunteer for the Polish organization, The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, where each year she raises money for medical equipment for children. She also volunteers at the food pantry at Polish American Association. Her passion is dance. She has been dancing since she was 4, and currently dances at Joffrey Ballet. Julia is planning on pursuing an education in International Relations and later working for the CIA. Last February she was 1 of 12 to attend her school Close Up trip to Washington D.C., where she had the opportunity to tour the White House and meet senators Tammy Duckworth and Cory Booker. In her free time, she loves to read, bake, and travel. Julia is proud of her Polish heritage, visiting Poland up to twice a year. She spends each summer in Poland, attending various camps, the most recent, a sailing camp, where she received her sailing license. She is extremely excited to be a debutante this year.