Polish American Congress Scholarship Application

PAC-MI Scholarships Application 2020-2021


11333 Jos. Campau                                  Hamtramck, Michigan 48212-3038                    (313) 365-9400





Available for Business Administration, Finance or Accounting areas of study.



Available for any major area of study.



No specific major area of study or criteria has been established with the donor.



Available for any major area of study, however, candidate must be proficient in the Polish language and actively participating in Polonia.



No specific major area of study or criteria has been established with the donor.



Available for a major study in the Nursing profession.



Available for a major study in Osteopathic Medicine, pre-Medicine or the Nursing profession.



Available for a major study in the Engineering profession.



Available for a major study in the Religious Formation profession.



Grants are established by the Board of Directors as funds are available.



  1. Scholastic Average
  2. Polonian Involvement-include the last two years
  3. Community Service-include the last two years
  4. Financial Need of Student
  5. Thank you letter & Acceptance of Award


  • College freshman are not eligible for scholarship. Available for only full time students
  • All applicants must be residents of Michigan.
  • Application must be completed in its entirety.
  • Verification of current grade point average must be attached.
  • Verification of Polonian involvement must be included.
  • Verification of community service must be included.
  • Verification of financial need must be included.

Checks will be made out to the College or University.

Completed applications become the property of the Polish American Congress of Michigan Scholarship Fund. All information submitted on the application is considered confidential and will not be duplicated and only be discussed by the Scholarship’s designated judges and officers.

Your completed application is due NO LATER THAN APRIL 1 OF EACH YEAR


Completed application must be mailed or delivered to:

Polish American Congress of Michigan Scholarship Fund, Inc.

11333 Jos.Campau

Hamtramck, Michigan 48212-3038


A 501(c)3 Organization under the Internal Revenue Service





11333 Jos. Campau                                  Hamtramck, Michigan 48212-3038                    (313) 365-9400



NAME: _______________________________________________________________________


ADDRESS: ____________________________________________________________________


CITY: ________________________  ZIP: ___________   PHONE: (_____)________________




____________________________________________    Location: ________________________


AREA OF STUDY: _____________________________________________________________


How will this scholarship grant help you in pursuit of your degree?





In the last two years, which Polonian organization(s) have benefited from your membership?      How?





In the last two years, which organized volunteer, community or other group(s) benefited from your service?  How?





Any additional information, which may be helpful in reviewing this application, may be added on the back on this sheet.  For example: Involvement with the Polish American of Michigan Scholarship Fund, Inc. or the Michigan Division of the Polish American Congress.


Your “Application Check List” must be included with your application. Attach all necessary information needed to evaluate your request for a Scholarship Grant.



Applicant’s Signature: __________________________________________________________Date:_____________


A 501(c)3 Organization under the Internal Revenue Service







In order to receive consideration for a PAC of Michigan Scholarship Grant, the following must be sent:



_____  1. Completed Application.



_____  2. Verification of acceptance or attending College / University (ex. letter of acceptance,

transcripts, etc.)



_____  3. Verification of scholastic average (ex. test scores, transcripts, report card, etc.)



______ 4. Verification of financial need (ex. completed financial aid form– FAFSA), federal income tax

return form(s), other scholarships, 1098-T Form, etc.)



______ 5. A letter of recommendation from an officer of at least one Polonian organization.



_____  6. A letter of recommendation from an officer of at least one volunteer or community




_____  7. If you are applying for the Jozef & Regina Marciniec Grant, verify your degree of

Polish proficiency.



______ 8. Acceptance & Appreciation of the award letter within six months of the notification

of the award and addressed to the Polish American Congress of Michigan Scholarship Fund,





Dear Friends,

You are cordially invited to join us in celebrating our Diamond Jubilee on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy, MI.

RSVP’s can still be made by calling Jackie Kolowski at 586-558-3624.

It will be a fun event in this festive Carnival season.

See you there!

Ann Bankowski, President Polish American Congress- MI

75th Diamond Jubilee

Significant Jamestown Anniversary

It happened 400 years ago, in 1619, that the first ever workers strike took place in the New World.  That year English settlers in the colony of Jamestown, Virginia were granted the right to vote in colonial America.  The colony, however, was settled by craftsmen and industry specialists from other countries, notably Poles, to come work at the colony since 1608, recruited to develop this settlement.  The Poles specialized in making soap-ash, glass, lumber milling, naval stores, and mining. Upon learning that they were deprived of representation, the Polish artisans, whose contributions to the settlement were inestimable, organized a work stoppage.  In response to this civil action by the Poles, court records for The Virginia Company of London, of July 21 1619, thus declared “It is now agreed they shall be enfranchised and made as free as any inhabitant whatsoever”.

Sunday, July 21, the very date of the Poles’ gaining the right to vote, Polish American Congress-Michigan is hosting a 400th anniversary celebration to honor the brave example demonstrated by these industrious Polish craftsmen, in their efforts to gain their own individual freedom.  It will take place on the campus of the Orchard Lakes Schools, 3535 Commerce Rd, Orchard Lake, MI 48324.

Come hear the rest of the story!

At 11:00 am, enjoy an interesting program at the campus Adam Maida Alumni Library, featuring expert presentations about Jamestown, informative exhibits, souvenirs, and refreshments, culminating with a glass blower’s demonstration.

At 1:00 pm there will be a bilingual mass in the St. Mary of Orchard Lake Shrine Chapel, followed by a mini piano concert of music of Polish emigrants, including selections by Frederic Chopin and Paderewski.

Everyone is welcome and admission is free.  More information can be obtained on the PAC-MI Division website, pacmi.org, or by calling the event chairman, Richard Lapham, at 313-443-1560.




W tym roku POLONIA obchodzi 400-lecie historycznego wydarzenia w Nowym Świecie.

W roku 1619, w angielskiej kolonii Jamestown, Virginia, utalentowani rzemieślnicy z Polski, sprowadzeni do pracy i rozwoju kolonii, urządzili pierwszy „strajk” robotniczy, aby osiągnąć swoje prawo do głosu w tym osiedlu.

Głos im przyznano 21-go lipca 1619 r.

Kongres Polonii Amerykańskiej w Michigan, wraz z Polską Misją w Orchard Lake, celebrują to unikalne wydarzenie.


Zapraszamy Polonię do Zakładów Naukowych w Orchard Lake

(3535 Indian Trail pomiędzy Orchard Lake i Commerce Rd.)


Niedziela, 21-go lipca 2019 r.

11:00 rano- ciekawy i informacyjny program w bibliotece, oraz wystawy, poczęstunek, i demonstracja szklarza;

1:00 pp.- Msza Św. (dwujęzyczna) w głównej kaplicy NMP

Koncert fortepianowy muzyki Polskich emigrantów po mszy.

Wstęp wolny.

 Celebrujcie z Nami!

Polish American Congress Michigan Division on Capitol Hill

Ian Brzezinski – Atlantic Council, Ann Bankowski – President PAC-MI, Dr. Mark Chodakiewicz – Chair Polish Studies, Institute of World Politics

A few weeks ago, two members of the PAC-MI Executive Board, Ann Bankowski and Barbara Lemecha, were happy to travel to Washington DC, where, on May 20 2019, in the historic Cannon Building of the U.S. House of Representatives, an informational Capitol Hill briefing took place about Poland, entitled, “Poland’s Painful Past and Bright Future”. The National PAC organized the event and invited all Congressmen to attend.

The two expert speakers featured were Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, present holder of the Kosciuszko Chair in Polish Studies at the Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington, DC and Ian Brzezinski, Senior Resident at the Atlantic Council, and son of the late Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Attendees included staffers from congressional offices of both political parties, government office representatives, and numerous Polonia members.

PAC-MI was invited by the national office to take part in this briefing in order to talk about our promotion of the book, “Those Who Risked Their Lives”, giving attendees an informative view of the Polish experience during WWII from the vantage of Poles who risked their lives saving Jews in Poland during the war. Congressional staffers in attendance availed themselves of the books for their Congressmen and offices.

John Czop, the national office policy director, wrote an informative article on this meeting, a translation of which appears on June 5th Polish Weekly.

The following is the presentation I gave at the informational briefing on Capitol Hill.


Good Afternoon!

My name is Ann Bankowski and I am the president of the Michigan Division of Polish American Congress, an umbrella organization representing the organized Polish American community. I am happy and honored to join all of you for this informational briefing about Poland. Joining me today from Michigan is our division vice president, Barbara Lemecha. I thank Mr. Czop, of the PAC national office, who is its policy director, for inviting me to say a few words today about a project that our division has recently undertaken, which is to promote a book, entitled “Those Who Risked Their Lives” by Anna Poray. We inherited this project from a Michigan based organization named Heralds of Truth, which originally took the initiative andhelped to publish this book, some 12 years ago. I am here to tell you about its importance, what our division has done to enhance its usefulness, and to offer US Congressional members this book free of charge, for their informational enlightenment on this topic.

The book’s author/editor, the late Anna Poray-Wybranowska, was a Polish-Canadian scholar whose work focused primarily on researching the rescue efforts of Jews by Polish Christians in Poland during WWII. Her book compiles the stories of thousands of Poles, by name and place, who rescued Jews in wartime Poland. Per the book’s introduction by Dr. Richard Lukas, he quotes Rabbi Harold Schulweis , “we need to know the heroes and heroines, those exemplars of good”. These people were those who did good in a time and place when death, terror, and destruction reigned. This thoroughly researched book lists names and describes circumstances of rescue attempts, attempts offering secret refuge to persecuted Jews, sometimes over a long period of time, often ending in execution of everyone involved by the German Nazi occupiers.  Nonetheless they performed courageous and heroic deeds, at a horrific time for the country and nation of Poland.

Many may not know that it was decreed by the Third Reich occupiers of Poland that, during the years of German Nazi rule, from 1939-1945, anyone in Poland who offered any kind of help to a person of Jewish faith or origin, would be punished by death. Poland was the only occupied country during WWII to have this decree. The punishment could be extended to the accused rescuer’s family, neighbors, at times towns and villages. It was a true reign of terror. Nonetheless, there were hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish Poles who risked their lives to aid and shelter Jews, whole families at times, in very creative ways, motivated by values engrained in them by their own faith and family upbringing. Dr. Lukas notes that even if some among these rescuers might have held anti-Semitic views, prevalent in Poland and in many other countries before the war, the response to help and rescue Jewish persons, fellow neighbors and citizens, was an “expression of resistance against the hated Germans, who terrorized and killed Polish citizens, Jewish and otherwise, longer than any other people in Europe.”

Of course, the war years were particularly grueling, uncertain, and tragic for the Polish nation as a country occupied and controlled by both Germany and Soviet Russia, both totalitarian regimes, since September 1939 until the war’s end in 1945. It was then dominated by the Soviet Union until 1989. The war period was a time when close to three million Polish Christians lost their lives through battles, executions, bombings, torture, starvation, or overwork in hundreds of prisons, forced labor, and concentration camps. Millions more were deported into exile by the occupiers to forced labor camps and prisons. Poland lost 22% of its pre-war population, Christian, Jewish, and others- more than any other country of Europe. Poland lost so many of its young and many of the educated classes- a deathly blow to any society and its future.

What I do want to impress on today’s audience is that Anna Poray’s book presents a unique and a both thought and heart provoking documentation of real persons from real places, demonstrating heroic acts, thousands of them, to save fellow human beings, risking their own lives and of their families. To read and comprehend the enormity of such a compilation is not done at one sitting in order to gain and appreciate its full effect. It can and should be reviewed from time to time, both as a historical reference source and as a witness to the extremes of hate and genuine love for one’s fellow man, experienced in this tragic period by the country of Poland and its citizens.

The PAC division in Michigan took it upon itself the task to enhance the index of the book by cross referencing all names and places, Jews or Polish Christians, whose stories are documented in this compilation to facilitate and expedite research by the reader. Meanwhile, we have encountered persons, to whom the book was offered, whose family names appear in this book, documenting these heroic acts. Some were not even aware of their family’s rescue actions, while some knew only that something of this nature may have taken place through family lore, but no one was certain. They were gratified to learn that their family acted heroically and were thus being validated.

Of course, because of the extreme conditions imposed on occupied Poland, and those in the aftermath following the war, documentation of rescue attempts, and all persons involved, was a daunting task. More often than not, all persons involved, Jews and Christian Poles alike, died by tragic execution. Very often no one lived to fully authenticate the event. Finding reliable witnesses, at times requiring 3 or 4 eyewitness testimonies, decades later, involved slow, pain staking efforts.

Such documentations were published eventually by the Main Commission for Investigation of Crimes against the Polish Nation, the Institute of National Memory and Remembrance, and The Polish Society for the Righteous Among Nations in Warsaw. To date, some 7,000 names of Poles have been recognized by the Israeli Yad Vashem Institute, The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, as “Righteous Among Nations”. But more often, those who were executed have not been recognized among the “Righteous”. Many of these cases of execution await verification.

Anna Poray took on the onerous task to research and document such events and persons involved- some 6,000 documented here. Her book is testimony to thousands of examples of selfless sacrifice by a terrorized people acting alone, but standing up for their values, against all odds, to rescue another human being. Theirs is an affirmation of the Polish spirit of never ever giving up. It is inspiring and at the same time provoking, how many of us would go to such extreme measures, to help others?

I had hoped to share with you a couple of stories excerpted from this book, but unfortunately time today does not allow me to do so. I invite you to read “Those Who Risked Their Lives” as a historical source and as testimony of human heroism. As Dr. Richard Lukas states in the book’s Introduction, “The Talmud says that he who saves one life, saves the world.” This book shows how for many, their individual worlds were so saved in Poland in WWII.

Please pick up a copy here today or sign up with our PAC office administrator, to have one delivered to your office.

Thank you for your attention.

Ann Bankowski


PAC-MI President

Polish Ethnic Novena

Please join us for this annual Celebration.

Anna Poray’s “Those Who Risked Their Lives” gained much needed Index


Hamtramck, MI – In the cynical age in which we live, accounts of altruistic behavior by individuals who risked their lives for others during World War II should be especially welcome to readers.  In wartime Poland, unlike in other German occupied countries, gentiles who extended any form of assistance to Jews risked execution by Nazis.  Despite cultural, religious, and linguistic differences between Polish Jews and Polish Christians, most Poles were sympathetic to the plight of the Jewish people. Hundreds of thousands of Poles sheltered, fed, clothed, provided forged documents and looked after the medical needs of Jews on a regular basis. There were additionally hundreds of thousands of Poles whose assistance, though occasional and indirect, was no less dangerous.

“Those Who Risked Their Lives”, compiled, edited and annotated by Anna Poray, offers a glimpse of some of the thousands of Poles who rescued Jews.  The book records the names and experiences of many of these remarkable individuals.

Recently, an Index to accompany the book was created by members of the Polish American Congress Michigan Division (Henrietta Nowakowski, Barbara Gronet, Walter Bankowski, Richard Lapham, Greg Biesterk).  It was an enormous project, but the Index was much needed as an aid in identifying the rescued Jews and their Polish Christian rescuers as well as the locations where these acts of mercy occurred.  In the introduction to the Index its authors write: “This work pertains only to what the editor documented.  It neither exhausts the topic nor covers all known cases.  As such, it should be treated as a companion resource to other similar works”.

The Talmud says that he who saves on life, saves the world.  Thousand of Jews can bear the witness to the Poles who save their world.

“Those Who Risked Their Lives” was produced by the Heralds of Truth, a Michigan-based organization, and published by IRIS Publishing Services. The book with the accompanied Index is available for purchase ($20.00 + $5.00 shipping & handling) at the Polish American Congress Michigan Division office (11333 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck, MI 48212).  Call 313-365-9400 to order your copy.


Celebrate Constitution Day at Orchard Lake Schools

May 5, 2019  11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Polish American Congress and Orchard Lake Schools invite all Polonia to the lower level of the OLS Library-Conference room to celebrate Polish Constitution Day.


Helena Zmurkiewicz, past officer of the Polish American Congress, Michigan Division, died in her home on February 23, 2019 at the age of 93.  It is a great loss for PAC-MI and Polonia in Michigan.


Helena Zmurkiewicz (nee Rodzen) was born on June 17, 1926 in Kalusz, a city in eastern Poland (now Ukraine). She was the youngest of four children. Helena always said that she had a very happy childhood and that her home was filled with joy and laughter.

In 1940, when Helena was just 13 years old, she, her mother, and her two sisters, were arrested, separated from her father and brother, and taken prisoner by the Russian army to Kazakhstan where they were forced to work on collective farms in extremely harsh conditions. Starvation and disease were rampant. Helena contracted and survived eight bouts of malaria. Helena’s mother and, she later learned, her father died of typhoid.

In 1942, while still too young to join the army, she was attached to the Polish II Corps, then forming in the Soviet Union. She too contracted typhoid but survived. Helena remembered that, when she recovered, she had nothing to wear and she was shown a large pile of clothing from which she was allowed to select something for herself. She was struck by the fact, and she never forgot, that this large pile of clothing “byl dar (was donated by) Amerykanskiej Polonii.”

Helena traveled with the Polish II Corps to the Middle East, where she and many other children were fed, clothed, housed, and educated, as she said, “Dzieki polskiemu zolnierzowi, ktory upodatkowal sie sam by pomoc polskim sierotom i pol sierotom w otrzymaniu wyksztalcenia.”

While attached to the Polish II Corps, and later as a Public Relations Officer in the Polish II Corps, Helena learned English, completed Polish Teachers Training College in Nazareth, and taught English in the Polish II Corps Mechanical School. She then worked in the Regimental Paymaster’s Office of the War Department in England and was honorably discharged from the army in 1949. She married in 1948, immigrated to the United States in 1951 (becoming a U. S. citizen in 1960), settled in Hamtramck and Detroit, Michigan, and started a family. She had three children, Aleksander (deceased 1984), Andrzej, and Janina.

Helena attended Wayne State University and taught Polish in various Polish schools in the Detroit area. She was the director of the H. Sienkiewicz Polish School for over 20 years. She was an Adjunct Instructor of Polish at the University of Detroit-Mercy and an instructor of Polish at Macomb County Community College – Continuing Education. She also taught Polish for adults at St. Ladislaus and tutored privately. Helena worked at the U. S. Army Tank Automotive Command in Warren, Michigan, and then at Hygrade Food Products where she worked for 24 years, retiring in 1993 as executive secretary to the comptroller of the corporation.

Helena was active in many community organizations including the Polish American Congress – Michigan Division, the Polish II Corps Foundation, the Polish Teachers Association, the Polish American Congress Seniors Club, Friends of Polish Art, and “Zwiazek Harcerstwa Polskiego” – Polish scouting association.

Helena chaired: Polish language competitions in Orchard Lake, Michigan, in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005; the 40th and 50th anniversary celebrations of H. Sienkiewicz Polish School in 1996 and 2006; the Polish Teachers National Conference in 1983 and 1993; the Polish II Corps Schools Reunion in 1987; and others. She authored and aired many radio programs on subjects important to Poles and Polish Americans.

Helena also received numerous honors and awards including: British Defense Medal; War Medal (1939-1945); Gold Cross of Merit from the Polish government in London in 1987; Silver Cross from the Alliance of Poles of America in 1988; Gold Badge from the Polish Alma Mater in London in 1988; Order of Merit – Commission on Education in Poland in 1991; Chivalry Cross, Order of Merit from the Polish government in London in 1994; and others.

In her spare time, Helena enjoyed traveling, gardening, knitting, reading, and playing cards with friends and family.

Helena was a parishioner of St. Veronica Catholic Church in Eastpointe for over 50 years. Helena died in her home on February 23, 2019, with her son and daughter by her side.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Polish American Congress – Michigan Division at 11333 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck, MI 48212.






With the start of a fresh new year, 2019, I would like to share some New Year’s wishes expressed by officials of the Polish government. Stanislaw Karczewski, who who is the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, in a New Year’s staement recently invited all those who feel any connection with their forefathers’ homeland, Poland, to feel welcome to visit Poland, keep abreast of what is happening there, and he wished all Poles, and those  with Polish roots, to nurture their cultural identity, so that in doing so we form a bonded community, which we can build on going into the future.

Just as his words appeared in the last edition of the Polish Weekly, 1-9-19, Poland’s President, Andrzej Duda, in reflecting on the historically significant year past, 2018, and standing on the threshhold of the New Year of 2019, noted that with the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence, “It was a great celebration time of Polish freedom and national pride”… The feast of all of us”. He pointed out that as in 1918 “we gathered under the white and red flag” and thus he expressed hope that “there will always be a place for each of us under our flag”. He invited everyone that throughout the New Year there will continue to be significant historical occasions to commemorate, ” to once again take stock of our history of tenacious striving for freedom, independence, and peace”.

I would also like to share, in part and translation, New Year’s wishes expressed to the Polish nation, on January 1, 1919, by Marshal Jozef Pilsudski. He stated that these wishes were the first one’s expressed to a free Poland in over 123 years. He commented on the dramatic changes the Great War and its aftermath created, especially in Europe, bringing down powerful empires and armies, particularly those who held Poland hostage. He pleaded that despite threatening chaos surrounding Poland, that the nation join together to protect its borders and to work to ensure and to build a new and truly free and strong Polish republic. Though he realized that the task was a daunting one, it was absolutely necessary. He appealed to all to work together to rebuild the country and ensure its future.

What took place in Poland in the 20 years following her regaining of independence was that, despite 123 years of bondage and destruction during the war, the country produced a significantly patriotic generation. This was the generation, imbued with a strong sense of history, age old traditions and values, and a love of their country and nation, was prepared, and eventually made ready, to deal with the extreme and disruptive challenges of WWII, invasions and occupations by both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and then the near five decades of destructive communism rule, which many of these young patriotic Poles survived and eventually overcame, to ensure that Poland was once again free and independent.

I share these New Year’s wishes as in them I see a call, a summons even to us, those of Polish heritage, living in America. Most of us certainly enjoy a comfortable life, free to do as we please, free to steer our way as we see fit. We have many options available to us: what we want to address as important, what we want to spend our time on, what we think can make a difference in our lives, the lives of our families, and even our nationality group. Most of us are reasonably content and secure looking ahead to the future. I invite you however to consider and envision how much of what we enjoy and cherish will continue through its own accord into our future, the future of our children and grand children, the communities we live in? Who will we be or become in generations to come? What will continue of what we value without our attention and nurturing?

I speak of course from the perspective of our Polish heritage, the often fought for resplendent history we share that preceded us, the striving to protect, nurture, and pass on what many of us feel, and those before us felt, is a rich heritage, values and ideals that helped our forefathers, and even those more recent compatriots, to rise up and conquer unbelievable challenges. Are we doing anything to pass this on to our children, the next generation, informing others of what is good and valuable in our heritage? It seems to be a daunting task- just as Marshal Pilsudski described  the work that awaited the new Polish nation- but are we not responsible to do our share today?

To ensure success of any task takes a vision, commitment and  working together. The many Polish American organizations that were formed and worked through the years before us are an example of such efforts. Polish American Congress exists to bring these organizations and all individuals together for the purpose primarily of protecting Poland and Polonia’s existence and good name, promoting our heritage, serving and nurturing our communities, and strengthening our bond as a nationality group, even as we live in this country. Is not the legacy of the generations that came before us worth such protection, time investment, and a worthy gift to our children, grandchildren, and generations after us?

Just as President Duda addresses the importance of celebrating our brave history, Poland’s Senate Chief appeals to all to build on our shared identity, and Pilsudski summoned us to work and build together, we too can step up this year, with a renewed commitment to join in doing something to promote our heritage and strengthen our identity, even in America. As we live in today’s diversified world, we need ever more to feel that identity and pride in who we are, where we come from, not detracting from the country we live in or of which we are citizens. It is enriching and it is encumbant upon us not to break, but rather strengthen, the beautiful chain that links us to Poland and our Polishness.

This year Polish American Congress- Michigan celebrates 75 years as an organization. In March we will have elections. It is never too late to join as a member, to become more active, to commit  time in some way to ensure a better and lasting future for our community of Polonia. Following today’s appeal we hope to inform you more as to what we are doing, what plans we have, and how you can become involved. Our division office is in Hamtramck, 11333 Jos. Campau. You can reach us at 313-365-9400; on our website pacmi.org; or like us on Facebook.

Happy New Year!

Ann Bankowski, President

Polish American Congress, Michigan Division