CHICAGO: Julia Szumny, Królowa Parady, podsumowuje swoje kilkumiesięczne ‘panowanie’, reprezentowanie Komitetu Parady 3. Majowej na różnych wydarzeniach polonijnych i ogólno stanowych w Illinois.
Królowa Parady w 2017 roku opowiada także o swoim życiu studenckim, dalszych planach akademickich, zaangażowaniu społecznym, o kryteriach uczestnictwa w wyborach Królowej Parady.
Julia jest studentką ostatniego roku reklamy, komunikacji i public relations na Uniwersytecie Illinois w Urbana-Champaign. Uwielbiam pracować społecznie, jestem skarbnikiem i wiceprezesem w studenckim polskim klubie „Zagłoba”, na Wydziale Reklamy, na Uniwersytecie Illinois w Champaign, Illinois. Zamierza w przyszłości kontynuować edukacje na poziomie magisterskim i chce się zajmować społeczną odpowiedzialnością biznesu.
Julia Szumny będzie pełnić funkcję królowej parady do czasu wyboru kolejnej królowej, które odbędą się marcu 2018.
@ Andrzej Mikołajczyk
Zdjęcia pochodzą z archiwum Julia Szumny, Królowej Parady 2017, Marek Art Photography. Wykorzystane w tym artykule za jej pozwoleniem.
Interview with Julia Szumny, the Queen of the Polish Parade in 2017
December 31, 2017 By Andrew (Andrzej) Mikolajczyk
INTRODUCTION: Julia Szumny has been the Queen of the Polish Parade in 2017. She has been involved in many aspects of the Polish American Community in Chicago area and in Illinois beside her charitable-community work and busy academic life.
* [A. Mikolajczyk] Congratulations for being the Queen of the Polish Parade in 2017. Many readers/listeners and observers have been impressed by the way that you represent community. When were you elected as the Queen of the Polish Parade? How long is your reigning as the Queen? Who are other ladies: Panie Dworu? Who is organizing the contest for the Queen of the Polish Parade? Who can participate in such contest? What are requirements for candidates?
[Julia Szumny] I was chosen to be the 2017 Queen of the Parade on March 12, 2017. My reigning as the Queen is until the next Queen of the Parade gets crowned, which will take place on March 10, 2018.
The first runner-up was Kasia Kolanko, and the second runner-up was Alicja Kwiatkowska.
The competition is organized by the Zwiazek Klubow Polskich (the Alliance of the Polish Clubs). The main organizer is Ewa Ruminski, who puts the whole event together along with many amazing sponsors. Girls aged 17-22 can take part in the competition. They must be pursuing a college degree, as all awards are scholarships. The ideal candidate is a confident woman who wants to give back to the community and ensure that the Polish community continues to grow in the United States.
For the girls who are interested in competing, the application deadline is January 5th. For more information please email Mrs. Ewa Ruminski at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 773-742-1477. In addition, for those interested in what I have done during my year as queen of the parade, like the facebook page: Krolowa Parady 3 Maja
- [AM] What are the ways that you have been representing the Polish American Community? What does it involve?
— [JS] I have had the opportunity to attend several events, fundraisers and make speeches as the Queen of the Parade. While the main event is the Parade, I have taken part in numerous other events during my year. The most memorable part of my reign has been speaking to kids at the Polish Schools about the importance of pursuing their Polish education, and always following their dreams.
Some other events included: visiting all sponsors of the competition, speaking at several Polish schools, speaking on the radio, attending a Chicago Super Stars talent showcase, attending a Polish themed night at Silver Creek Restaurant, attending the Zwiazek Klubow Polskich Swieconke,
Meeting Adam Malysz, famous Polish ski jumper. This event was organized by the Polish Slavic Federal Credit Union.
Other events included attending the Polish American Police Association Banquet, taking part in the Polish Constitution Day Parade, attending the Constitution Day Banquet, attending the Constitution Day Mass at St. Trinity Church.
Attending the General Wladyslaw Anders’ Banquet in Niles, walking in the Vic Miller Fashion Show, being a main sponsor for a regional recital competition for individuals with special needs in Poland, speaking at the first annual Polish Student Leaders Assembly Symposium alongside the Polish Consulate, attending the 2018 Miss Polonia Illinois competition, attending the Wedding Expo with Keswick Jewelers, hosting a charity ball to benefit an Orphanage in Poland alongside the Club Stalowa Wola in Chicago, attending the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union Christmas Wigilia, attending the Zwiazek Klubow Polskich Christmas Wigilia, and teaming up with the Club Stalowa Wola i Okolice in Chicago to send over 30 Christmas presents to an Orphanage in Poland.
[AM] Can you tell readers about your background? How do you keep your bi-lingual roots and serve broader public in Chicago area and in Illinois? What are the benefits of keeping in touch with your ethnic roots?
— [JS] I am a first-generation Polish American and a first-generation college student. My parents immigrated to the United States from Stalowa Wola, Poland. Shortly after, I was born as the very first person in my family. Growing up, my parents made it a priority for my siblings and me to learn Polish.
I graduated from Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish High School in 2013. Today, I keep my bi-lingual roots by taking part in events within the Polish Community.
As a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I served as the Vice President and Treasurer of the Zagloba Polish Club.
In addition, I teamed up with several of my peers to start a Polish non-profit organization called Polish Student Leaders Assembly. There are countless of benefits of keeping in touch with your ethnic roots. For me, keeping in touch with my ethnic roots gives me a sense of community and belonging in a world full of billions of individuals. In addition, it allows me to be able to communicate with family in Poland, and the chance for me to appreciate everything all other cultures have to offer.
- [AM] I have learned about your different community and other charitable projects? What are other projects that you support? How are you involved?
- [JS] This year I took part in several community and charitable projects, however I have a couple that truly stood out to me. I had a chance to speak to students at several Polish schools about the importance of continuing their Polish education and following their dreams. I teamed up with TM Image Construction to be one of the main sponsors for a regional recital competition for individuals with special needs in Poland. I teamed up with Klub Stalowa Wola i Okolice in Chicago to host a charity ball to benefit an Orphanage in Poland. I also, worked with them and Orzel Express to send over 30 Christmas presents to an Orphanage in Poland. In addition to this, I am a regular mentor at the Boys and Girl’s Club of Champaign.
[AM] How is your student life? What do you study, where? What are your academic plans and professional goals?
[JS] I am a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
I will be graduating in May 2018 with a degree in Advertising, and minors in Public Relations and Communication. I plan to obtain a Masters of Business Administration and pursue a career in Corporate Social Responsibility. I am very proud to not only be the first person in my family to graduate from a University, but to also rank in the top 10% of my class and be a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.
[AM] Do you have time for sports? What do you do?
- [JS] In high school I was a competitive Cheerleader. My team and I placed in 6th place in the state of Illinois and top 5 nationally. At one point I was training seven days a week.
However, after starting college I made the decision to focus on my educational and professional goals. I now partake in cheerleading as a hobby. I also enjoy kickboxing, snowboarding, and working out on a regular basis.
- [AM] How do you balance your busy academic life with your community work? What is your advice for others how to keep focus on important issues in life and have time for fun?
- [JS] I always have others asking me how I do it all. I maintain a high GPA, work part-time, volunteer on a regular basis, reign as the Queen Parade, and still manage to find time to enjoy my hobbies. I can balance all of this at once by always setting short and long-term goals for myself. Most importantly, I enjoy everything I do which makes time go by so fast that I typically do not even realize how busy I am. My advice for others is to take part in the activities that you enjoy and to follow your dreams while doing that.
- [AM] The state of Illinois has been preparing for celebrating its 200th Anniversary of its funding and the Polish American Community is preparing for celebrating its 100th Anniversary of Independence. How do you view these important anniversaries and how do you plan to participate in them or to support them? What is your message for Polonia and for people in Illinois?
- [JS] I believe these anniversaries are important to celebrate and honor. These anniversaries are a chance for everyone to reflect on where we started, to where we are today. I plan to support these anniversaries by being thankful for how far we have come, and by being excited to know there is more to come. I plan to participate by attending events to honor these anniversaries, and educating others on the importance of them.
My message for Polonia is to be thankful for how far we have come, and to continue working towards ensuring the Polish American Community continues to thrive in Chicago.
My message for the people of Illinois is to never take for granted everything the State of Illinois has to offer, and to always work towards improving everything Illinois has to offer to ensure our state continues to be great.
[AM] Students in elementary, middle and high schools are looking for role models who can be a good example of being a student, be involved in community projects and have fun in life. How would you advise them?
- [JS] My personal platform mission is: Mentoring to Inspire the Next Generation. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have several mentors in my life as well as today. However, 1 in 3 kids do not have access to a mentor, which I believe is something together we can change. One of my main missions is to always offer advice and mentorship to those younger than me. The advice I would give to students looking for a role model is to simply find one person you look up to, and reach out to them when you need advice or guidance. That person can be a parent, aunt, uncle, teacher, older student, just about anyone. The most valuable piece of advice I have to offer is that while everything does happen for a reason, you must always follow your dreams and never give up.
[AM] Good luck in your reign as the Queen of the Polish Parade and in your academic and professional life. Thank you for your interview.
- [JS] Thank you!
@ Andrew (Andrzej) Mikolajczyk
Photos from the archives of Julia Szumny, Queen of the Polish Parade 2017, Marek Art Photography. Used by permission in this article.