Unveiling of a Plaque Commemorating KF Founder, Stephen Mizwa

On July 4, 2023, the school complex in Basznia Dolna in Subcarpathian Voivodeship, Poland, the hometown of the Kosciuszko Foundation founder Stephen Mizwa commemorated its resident by unveiling a plaque dedicated to his memory. The event, combined with the opening of this year's KF Teaching English in Poland (TEIP) camp for 60 local Polish and 30 Ukrainian children, was attended by the Foundation's President and Executive Director, Marek Skulimowski.

Marek Skulimowski unveiled the plaque together with Wieslaw Kapel, the Mayor of Lubaczow District, Boleslaw Dydyk, the school’s director, and Cecylia Zarembska, the niece of Stephen Mizwa.

The Lubaczow District Mayor emphasized the importance of the event for the school and the whole region. “Don’t be afraid to dream. Plan without being scared. Don’t be hesitant to accept difficulties. Let Stephen Mizwa serve as a motivation and role model for you,” he said. The mayor expressed gratitude and thanked Marek Skulimowski and the Kosciuszko Foundation for organizing the camps with volunteer teachers from the United States.

Marek Skulimowski, on the other hand, thanked Mirzwa’s family and the school authorities for hosting the event and expressed his gratitude to American educators for their involvement in TEIP, which is aimed to serve as an immersive experience for children to learn the English language fast and effectively. Kristin Miller, the coordinator of American volunteers at TEIP, spoke about plans and curricula for this year’s camps edition.

Stephen Mizwa was born on November 12, 1892. He was the only boy among 13 siblings. In 1900, his father sold their family house in Rakszawa, and they moved to Basznia Dolna, where Mizwa went to school. When he was 17, Mizwa emigrated to the United States. He worked during the day and learned English at night to complete his education at Harvard University. In 1923, he initiated the Polish American Scholarship Committee, a cornerstone for the Kosciuszko Foundation, established in 1925. The KF was Mizwa’s life goal. After serving as the visionary, backbone, and chief executive officer of the KF for three decades, he became its second president. Mizwa’s character, courage, knowledge, and ability to connect people led to establishing the organization that has served Poles and Americans for nearly 100 years.

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