I wrote an essay last year telling you about my pride in being Polish but I did not win a scholarship. I was proud of what I wrote, so I am sending it again. This time, I am adding a few things. I am leaving for boot camp in a few days. I will do boot camp this summer and then return to do my senior year at Central Catholic. My grandfather joined the Marines right out of high school when he was 17. I am 17 and I am now a member of the Army National Guard. They called my grandpa “Ski” like they did for most Polish guys in the service. Because my last name is Collins, I am a little bit bummed that no one will call me “Ski”. But, I will make sure that people know I am half Polish.
Although my name is Collins, my mother’s maiden name is Kwiatkowski and I consider myself to be Polish. My mother, Connie, is the daughter of Caroline (Kasper) and the late John Kwiatkowski. Whenever we celebrate anything, we begin with a prayer. At holidays, we share Oplatki and eat kielbasa, pierogi, placek and kapusta. At birthdays, we sing Happy Birthday followed by Sto Lat.
My grandmother is first generation American since her dad Stanislaus Kasper was born in Poland in 1907 in Lwow. His father left Poland ahead of the rest of the family to find a job and settle in Huntington, Indiana. There were 14 children in his family but many of them died while babies. Only five of them lived to be adults. He moved to Toledo to marry my great grandmother, Albina Ciacuch.
My great, great grandfather bought land in Huntington, Indiana and he felt so happy to be in America that he wanted to share his good fortune. They grew their own food and canned and they fed any beggars that came to their house. I think that helping others and sharing what we have comes from being Polish. We are generous and hardworking people. I belong to St. Pius X Church in Toledo. My family and I help out with scouts, fish fries, and we help to feed the homeless doing outreach to the community.
Our family takes pride in being Polish and we value hard work and dedication to our Church and community. My great Uncle John Kasper is an Oblate of St. Fancis and my great Aunt Sister Mary Ann Kasper is a nun in the Servants of Jesus order. My great Aunt Pat Urbaniak is a church organist and my grandmother works at Lourdes University.
I attend Central Catholic and I will be a senior at the start of next year. I play many sports, including cross country, track and soccer. I volunteer at Hospice of Northwest Ohio and help my mom with feeding the homeless every month. This scholarship will be beneficial to both my family and me because my family is light on money and the scholarship would take some of the stress off my hard working parents. I am proud to be Polish because they encourage hard work and charity to others and I do too.
I hope you consider me for this scholarship but if not, I will still continue to be proud of my heritage.