Bugoslawa Kopiczko's words about her daughter Dorota come in a torrent of tearful Polish. "We came in September 1992," she said, with a neighbor, Ewa Kowalski, interpreting. "Dorota was 17. She loved it right away. She wanted to know everything."
Dorota Kopiczko embraced the American way from the start. After teaching herself English and working her way through Montclair University in New Jersey by cleaning offices and waiting tables, she got an accounting job at a firm in Parsippany, N.J.
When the firm was acquired by Marsh & McLennan and she started working on the 100th floor of 1 World Trade Center, Ms. Kopiczko was overjoyed. She bubbled through the office every day — she was known there as Sunshine, for both her ebullient personality and her blond hair — and made friends with everybody. At night she prepared for the C.P.A. exam. She had already fulfilled her dream of owning a home — a town house in Nutley, N.J. — at age 25. But she wanted more. "She was all the time dreaming to get a higher position at work," her mother said. "One time she took me to Franklin Lakes, one of the most beautiful towns in New Jersey. We looked at the houses, and she said, `Mommy, don't worry. One day we will have this.' "
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 23, 2001.