I believe in education. I believe that knowledge makes you a better person, person that can stand up when called upon and make the right call for their family, their community and their country.
Education makes many things possible. For me, it started in middle school in Poland, when my poems were read, critiqued and taken seriously. This inspired me to read poetry, explore the thoughts and feelings of great poets and writers and begin the literary journey that I enjoyed ever since. It helped me to appreciate art, in any form, as an expression of free human spirit and the best example of our understanding and compassion for our fellow men.
I was reminded of that when I spent a year in the US as a 13 year old. This is when my homeroom teacher, Ms Claus, allowed me to read in class (so that I didn’t have to hide books under my desk) and gave me 20 of her favorite books as I was preparing to leave for Poland, with a personal note encouraging me to keep reading and learning.
Education helped to shape my view of the world. When I started law school, at the fall of communism in Poland, I believed that knowledge would help us join the free world. When the heroes of the time focused on ending the old regime, I believed that knowledge would help us build again. That we could, day by day, grow, and concentrate on contributing to the new reality of opportunities and hopes. That is when I understood that knowledge was freedom.
When I came to the US again, after graduating law school in Poland, I never believed I would qualify to study law here. Yet, I wrote an essay on the awareness of the rule of law, the awareness of human rights and what it can do to transform a person, a community and a nation and I was awarded a Rule of Law Fellowship at the George Washington University to pursue my post graduate studies. I was amazed that my education, in a country far away, has made it possible.
I have graduated from GW, Magna cum Laude. I enjoyed every minute of learning this new legal system, learning of breakthroughs that the law made possible and how it helped to shape the political system we now enjoy.
I have since built a career away from the legal practice. However, I still enjoy the benefits of the first rate education in how I perceive the world, how I participate in it and how I hope to shape it.
I was never a teacher. I was, and continue to be, a student. Learning made me the person I am today and made it possible for me to continue to grow, with curiosity and appreciation of knowledge of those who came before me. I hope all kids get the opportunity that I enjoyed to shape their worldview with literature, arts and the ideas that will forever appeal to their better instincts. I believe in education.
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