Stefania Podgorska grew up in a large Catholic family on a farm in Poland. When she was 13, her father died, and she moved to the city and found work in a grocery store owned by a Jewish family. She befriended and eventually moved in with the family, until they were rounded up and forced to live in the Jewish ghetto. Stefania found an apartment outside of the ghetto, but when she heard that the Jewish people were being rounded up and sent away, she moved to a cottage to help more people escape and hide in her attic. Stefania hid 13 Jewish people in her attic, all of whom survived.
Maxwell was very moved by Stefania’s story and heroic actions. He wrote:
“It felt great to spend time on the photograph and turning it into my own personal art board photo. I really felt like the picture was rubbing off on me and constantly making me feel like I knew Stefania.”
-Maxwell F., Wellington High School, Florida