AME American Dream Inspires Rockford Youth
Adam Mazela, electrical controls engineer at Advanced Machine & Engineering, immigrated to the United States from Poland in 1981 with his father in search for a new beginning and better opportunities. His wife, Iwona, also left Poland in 1988 in search for a new and improved life on American soil.
The two met in Rockford, got married, and had two girls. Their youngest, Monika, was so inspired by their story that she wrote about it for an essay-writing contest on “What the American Flag Means to Me”, and won.
“We didn’t even know she wrote the essay until she won the award at Pecatonica High School,” claims Mazela. “Once I read it, I realized she remembered all of the stories my wife and I told her about us living in Poland, and how lucky she is to live here in America.”
Monika’s accomplishment was reported in the Rockford Register Star. Students across Illinois participated in the American Legion Department of Illinois’ Americanism Essay Contest to earn scholarship money for college. Monika took top honors in one of the state’s five geographical regions.
“I’m really proud of her for listening to what we were saying, and learning about how great it is to be here in this country,” says Mazela.