Polonia Scholarship Foundation awards teens from St. Joseph and St. Adalbert Parishes


PROVIDENCE — On April 6, the Rhode Island Polonia Scholarship Foundation awarded two $1,000 scholarships to two local high school seniors.

This year’s recipients are Vanessa A. Szulc, of North Smithfield High School and a parishioner of St. Adalbert Parish in Providence, and Klaudia Gajda of Attleboro High School and a parishioner of St. Joseph Parish in Central Falls. Szulc and Gajda as well as their entire families are very actively involved in many activities at their respective parishes.

The awards were presented by Dr. Dorothy Pieniadz, scholarship selection chairperson at a reception held at St. Adalbert’s Parish Center. Vanessa and Klaudia were chosen for their academic excellence, extra-curricular and athletic accomplishments, personal character and community service. As part of the requirements, applicants also have to submit a research paper on a selected topic of Polish culture or history. This year’s paper focused on the significance of the centennial of the restoration of Poland’s independence. Both recipients were recognized for their excellent research and presented their papers at the award reception.

Since its founding in 1978, the Rhode Island Polonia Foundation has awarded 349 grants totaling over $306,000. These grants are made possible through the support of private individuals, businesses and Polish American organizations. In addition to providing financial support, the Foundation promotes an appreciation of Polish culture and the contributions made by Poland and Polish Americans.