Margaret Wroblewski’s Personal Statement

My grandparents’ house was in the quiet town of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, known for the Pennsylvania Dutch, whoopie pies, dairy farms, and the smell of manure. Due to a tragic accident, I never met my grandparents, but I still honor the family tradition of visiting the home filled with antiques and old family photographs.


When we were younger, my cousins and I entertained ourselves by biking to the local Dairy Queen ice cream stand, playing hide-and-go- seek in the corn fields, and acting out fantasies. One day, as I was searching for something to do, I found my grandparents’ large collection of National Geographic magazines. For hours, I flipped through every page while I sat in my grandfather’s large leather armchair. I recall the beauty and stillness within each photograph.


The radiant photos featured within the bright yellow rectangle on each cover conveyed the inconceivable depth and beauty of the world. The photos painted pictures and told stories of different worlds outside the quaint farm fields of Ephrata.

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I use my camera to take photographs that connect instantly with the viewer. When a person walks into a bookstore or searches the Internet, it is the photos that first draw us in and pique our curiosity and interest.

The photographs help us to connect, inquire, understand, and care. At George Washington University today, I am relentlessly pursuing the dream of capturing images that tell stories and freeze time. Photographs are vital for understanding history and culture, as well establishing our own identities. Photos provide glimpses into other lives, times, and places. Photographs guide us in understanding our individual identities and humanity on a deeper level like no other tool of storytelling.

Sitting in a large leather armchair, I was a bright-eyed little girl when I discovered those National Geographics. Those old magazines were a message from my grandparents to inspire me to tell the next story.

Margaret Wroblewski