Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Madison Parola
Dominika Chruszcz, at 16, has achieved far more than her family ever expected.
She was raised in Chicago, but her parents started their lives a lot farther from home. Her parents immigrated from Poland and watched slowly as she discovered her dreams throughout high school.
“I love seeing how [my parents] react to how big my dreams are because they came from Poland and didn’t have the same opportunities,” said Chruszcz.
One of Dominika’s accomplishments that set her apart from her age group would be that she started a project called “Women of Chicago.” This project is very similar to “Humans of Newyork” but has a different goal.
The goal of “Women of Chicago” is to “bring awareness to the everyday lives of teenage girls and women in the city, as well as potential struggles and stereotypes that they have to defy,” said Chruszcz.
As a feminist, Dominika does a great job voicing her opinions on equality within the project’s meaning. Her parents support her project but disagree with the feminist aspect.
“Foreign parents don’t understand this generation and think that by feminist I mean extremely pro-liberal,” said Chruszcz.
The support for her success has continued to grow, but the views her parents have grown up with have caused a difference in opinions. When she first brought up the idea of the project her family thought it was cool and wished her good luck but quickly her dad thought that every person’s political views were a direct representation of her political affiliation.
As time has gone on she has learned to be more open with the project and has learned to have a different perspective on people. Some people might not have the same views on politics or cultural beliefs, but she has become more open minded with listening to where they stand.
“Women of Chicago” has been promoted at the ACT women conference where she was invited to speak to businesses and people about her project. She had her first true exposure to interviewing strangers for this project. She has already had someone accuse her of stealing the idea. She stayed positive and professional with the knowledge of having created the project months before the person that made the accusation.
In the future, she hopes to increase her following on the project and possibly write a “Women of Chicago” book as she gets more and more people on her project. After facing challenges with her project and gaining new skills Chruszcz works hard to accomplish tasks and plans for the future ahead.