Bozena Dudek

Polish immigrant; Lived in Worcester for thirty years

I think the kids and—in Europe when they were on a farm, or even in city—they are more mature. Like my sister was five years old and she had to watch me because I was too little. So, I mean today nobody would leave a kid five years old…a baby, you know? So it was different…It was, you know nice. And then when we came to America we had to start all over.


Bozena Dudek was born in 1957 in Krakow, Poland and immigrated to Worcester with her family when she was 10 years old. One of eight children, Bozena discusses the challenges her mother faced in raising the family, buying their first house, and adapting to life in a new country. She discusses her mother’s life growing up in Poland where she was orphaned at an early age and had to work to care for her siblings. Bozena reflects upon the difficulties of learning a new language and how that influenced her opportunities in Worcester. She also touches upon the pain of leaving behind friends and family in Poland. Bozena discusses her work as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and what it means to her to be able to care for elderly and sick people. Bozena tell us that, as a young woman, she had wanted to become a nurse but now feels that it is too late for her to return to college. Bozena also talks briefly about her own children and the importance of quality education in their lives.

Interview Date: 
November 10, 2005
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