As the Ravens finish up their last few weeks at Notre Dame, they are sharing reflections of their high school years and hopes for the future.
New stories will be added daily.
At Berkeley I found a campus full of students that align with my deep passion for activism. Its strength in social justice and political science, its friendly and open community and the great squash team were some of the many reasons I decided to go. Notre Dame has helped me be the woman of impact I am today by instilling in me passions for leadership and activism and I am thankful for the experiences I've had and the people I've met.
Riana Ali Karim
California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
Computer Science, Business & Finance
I have been fortunate to receive a powerful and truly galvanizing education here at Notre Dame, allowing me to grow as an individual and explore my interests as well as build community and strengthen my teamwork with women I am proud to call my ND sisters. As I take the first steps into a bright future, I carry with me the values and experiences I have acquired from Notre Dame onto the Caltech campus and its similarly small, research-focused, academically challenging, fun-loving and friendly environment!
Santa Clara University - Johnson Scholarship
Economics & Gender Studies
- I’m so happy to be attending Santa Clara University! During my time at Notre Dame, I have found my passion for social justice and improved my leadership skills. I will cherish my memories and am excited to move on to the next chapter of my life! I chose SCU because of the community and the commitment to meaningful global change that I experienced when I stepped on campus. And, I am excited to develop my social entrepreneurship skills as a Johnson Scholar. Go Broncos!
Jenica Gabrielle Paragas
University of San Francisco - Hilltop Award
If there is anything I will take from Notre Dame to college, it is to stand firm in my beliefs and nurture others'. The accepting and diverse community I experienced at Notre Dame is unique, and I am thrilled that I found it at USF as well. USF allows me to further develop the passions I cultivated at Notre Dame and turn words into actions.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Animal Science & Psychology
As a child, I always dreamed about being a veterinarian and Cal Poly has offered me a hands-on opportunity to study animals. With their focus on learning by doing and their variety of extracurriculars, I know that Cal Poly will allow me to thrive as Notre Dame has. Although I will be leaving Notre Dame, I will take the skills that ND has instilled in me to succeed in my future endeavors.
Molecular & Cell Biology
When I visited UC Berkeley, I was captivated by its passion and its down-to-earth atmosphere. Notre Dame has helped me mature into a more caring and confident person, and it has instilled within me a passion for learning, community outreach and social justice. I am thrilled to continue growing academically and as a person in UC Berkeley. Go Bears!
Harvard University - Faculty Scholarship
Applied Physics/Computer Science
Notre Dame has changed my life in so many incredible ways! ND sparked my passion for performing arts, leadership, social justice and education. I've made lifelong friends and mentors under Notre Dame's loving and constantly supportive environment. Notre Dame has made me the young woman I am today and for that, I am forever grateful. Thank you.
Cognitive Science, Pre Med
Davis provides a good pathway for my career plan with the added bonus of being close to home which is why I felt it was a good choice. I also love the area, both in and off campus, and believe it is the best place for me to spend my next four years! Notre Dame has taught me so much about being a woman of impact and I hope to further improve upon that not only throughout my journey at Davis, but through my career as well.
Raelynn Mae Caligan
San Jose State University Humanities Honors Program
Communications & Psychology
The diverse student body, urban location, and honors program were just a few things that drew me to San Jose State. The honors program is a cultivation of the the arts, literature, philosophy and history. I will thrive at SJSU because of ND's holistic education and empowering values. I am forever grateful for Notre Dame for teaching me the importance of service, leadership and social justice. Go Spartans!
Elementary School Education
My swim coach always told me that "It is not a matter of if but when." I applied that principle to my college decision process. Xavier University in Cincinnati has been by top choice school since my freshman year. Xavier allowed me to differ my college acceptance for a year which allows me to take classes at West Valley and work at the same time. The college process is less black and I white than I ever could have expected, but Notre Dame has prepared us well to be able to navigate.
Santa Clara University
Public Health Science & Pre Med
After visiting Santa Clara, I realized that the students there shared a similar story to mine, and inspired me to work hard and pursue my passions. These aspirations have led me to realize that the only place I have to go is up! Notre Dame gave me the foundation I needed to become my own kind of leader and try new things. I know these skills will stay with me for college and beyond!
University of San Francisco
As I was pondering what college to attend, my mind kept wandering back to USF with its diverse and welcoming community - an environment I was already familiar with. If there is anything that Notre Dame has taught me, it is that the challenges that will come from this new experience can be conquered. By applying the same strength and perseverance I learned here, I know that my journey will be a good one.
Saint Mary's College - Honors at Entrance Scholarship
I chose Saint Mary's because I knew I would fit in there as soon as I visited the campus. I really love what they have to offer, and the close knit community, which is just like ND. Notre Dame has taught me so much in my past two years being here such as how to be a leader, a social justice advocate, and how stand up for what I believe in.
San Jose State University Honors Program
Notre Dame taught me to be more outgoing. I came to ND as a shy girl but am leaving as a more talkative person. I opened up to trying new things as my days at Notre Dame passed, from being a part of theater, being an ambassador and recently joining the softball team. I chose San Jose State because it is still in the heart of downtown like ND and there are many opportunities to explore in the bay area.
Dominican University - Presidential Scholarship
After stepping foot onto Dominican's campus, I knew it was exactly where I wanted to go for college. I felt like I was at home, and it was the same feeling I have every time I step foot on the Notre Dame campus. I'm excited to continue to my college journey and Notre Dame has given me the confidence and bravery to pursue my dreams as a life-long learner.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Mechatronics and Computer Engineering
I came into high school shy and unsure of what I wanted to do, but now I am graduating as a confident young woman. ND has helped me grow my ability to assert myself and to fake confidence until I know what I'm doing. I chose RPI because it will help me continue developing the skills I've grown at ND and learn new technical skills. They have open labs and tons of clubs that interest me, such as Engineers without Borders.
The moment I stepped foot onto Northwestern’s campus, I felt the same sense of community and inclusivity that I felt as a freshman coming into Notre Dame. Northwestern’s curriculum, along with the limitless amount of opportunities for social justice, community outreach, and volunteering, will help me continue to be the woman of impact Notre Dame has shaped me into becoming today. Go ‘Cats!
Computer Science & Electrical Engineering
I chose to attend UCLA because of the amazing research and internship opportunities, and unique culture of promoting innovation to spur social change. LA is a hub for technology, and I am really excited to explore my abilities to make an impact there. Thanks to Notre Dame, I've become more confident, and feel prepared for the challenges I'll face in college. Go Bruins!
Santa Clara University - Incentive Grant
SCU has always held a special place in my heart and has been the school that I’ve wanted to attend ever since I was in kindergarten. SCU promotes the development of strong, innovative leaders who strive to make meaningful change in our world, and realizing this made me want to become a Bronco even more. ND has given me the confidence to pursue any field of study, and I know that SCU will provide me with the tools I need in order to make the most of every opportunity.
Both ND and the College of Engineering at Boston University emphasize being a lifelong learner. The city of Boston is a major biotech hub, home to innovative and interdisciplinary research and internship opportunities to perpetuate my learning and development. The new environment will continue to challenge me academically and personally - a challenge I am wholeheartedly ready to take on thanks to ND.
Washington University in St. Louis
When I visited, I immediately noticed how kind and supportive the environment was and how the students were passionate about their school and their studies. Their enthusiasm made me really excited about the opportunities and experiences I could have there. The past four years at ND have helped me to become confident and engaged in social justice issues, and I believe Wash U will be a great place for me to continue this journey!
University of Southern California
USC is my dream school and has values that correspond with my own. Its community has the resources to support me in all ways necessary. My time spent at Notre Dame provided me with a flexible and supportive environment to explore my passions and gifts. I will take the values of leadership and social justice I learned from Notre Dame, as well as my multicultural perspective, to my new Trojan family.
University of the Pacific - Provost's Scholarship & Pacific Scholarship
I chose to attend the University of the Pacific because when I stepped onto that campus I felt the same four emotions I had felt when first arriving on Notre Dame’s campus; certain, enthusiastic, confident and inspired. Notre Dame has helped me become an advocate for social justice and provided awareness of the world around me. While at Notre Dame, I built a strong work ethic which has allowed me to feel empowered to create my own path in life. Go Tigers!
University of Vermont - Presidential Scholarship
When I picture college, I picture a place like the University of Vermont. I love the old-style architecture, its location and that it's close to my grandparents. ND will always have a place in my heart. I have learned so much about community and solidarity which I will carry with me. The teachers here are so supportive and want to see you succeed. I am grateful to have been able to attend Notre Dame, and the experience has shaped me in so many ways.
Arizona State University
Business, Human Resources
- I chose Arizona State University because l went to an overnight experience and was able to see all the cool things the school has to offer. My time at Notre Dame has been memorable and being here has helped me be aware of the social justice issues in the community as well as around the world. At Notre Dame, I have also learned that advocating is just as important as being a leader.
Santa Clara University
I committed to Santa Clara University because I will be able to continue to explore what I want to do in the future at a smaller school. I love the sisterhood we have at Notre Dame, and I know that I will be able to find my community at Santa Clara University. I'm excited to see what I'll be doing in a few years, and I'll always remember how Notre Dame supported me on my journey.
Santa Clara University
Operations Management & Information Systems
I chose Santa Clara University because of the internship opportunities Silicon Valley has to offer. I was drawn to the small class sizes and the closely-knit community similar to Notre Dame. The endless academic and extracurricular opportunities at ND have allowed me to become a compassionate wholesome learner and the ND faculty and my ND sisters have supported me since the first day of school and taught me what I need to know for college and beyond. Go Broncos!
I chose Foothill because of their program in environmental horticulture and design, which is a perfect platform to be on when I transfer to a four-year university to get my MA in landscape architecture. Notre Dame has taught me how to fight for what I believe in, and to fight and stand up for myself. This is something that is imperative in the career I am pursuing, and I am grateful that Notre Dame has helped me find this skill.
University of Portland - President's Scholarship
The University of Portland is the right fit for me as it provides all the support I need in order to be successful in my academic career and my future workplace. I'm looking forward to delving into all the opportunities that this university will provide, as well as growing my sense of self in this new, warm and welcoming environment! As I leave Notre Dame, I bring with me the skills of critical thinking and diligence; I hope to continually express these skills in my new home!
Creighton University - Academic Scholarship and Labaj, Fr. Joseph Award
Biology & Pre-med
Creighton has an excellent program to help me achieve my goal of going to medical school and becoming a doctor. It is also a very spirited, athletic and service-oriented campus where I can continue to explore my passions. I am grateful that my Notre Dame experience has not only prepared me to succeed in college, but it has also helped inspire me to go out into the world and bring about change to the communities around me.
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Aside from the gorgeous location, one of the things that drew me to Cal Poly was the "Learn by Doing" motto that the school emphasizes. They want you to really be immersed in your area of study, not only be in a classroom learning theory. Coming from Notre Dame, I think that the most valuable thing I've learned is how to become an authentic justice advocate, learning how to make real and lasting change for those who need it.
I decided to attend Mission College to complete my general eduation courses and then transfer to a 4-year institution to pursue psychology. Mission College offers me the opportunity to follow my dreams at the pace I want. Notre Dame has provided an education with an emphasis on women's empowerment and social justice. I am happy to be part of a commmunity that embraces individuality and thrives on undivided sisterhood.
University of Portland - Howard C. Collum Scholarship
At first I thought, "What could I possible like in Portland?" Then I visited the campus, met the students and professors and explored the city. My next thought was, "Everything. Everything in this city is what I like." I had found my next home. ND has taught me that anybody can do anything if they set their mind to it. They teach you what you need to know for life. Now here I am with that motto, "you can do anything you set your mind to." And I'm going to prove it!
Sharon Kim Truong
Johns Hopkins University
The opportunities to conduct research, learn new art forms and work in solidarity with others have instilled the seeds of the lifelong virtues of social justice, innovation, faith and leadership that I will nurture for the next four years and beyond. At Notre Dame, I have witnessed the power of my words and mind as a young woman, and Johns Hopkins University will undoubtedly provide me the opportunities to continue soaring. Go Blue Jays!
University of Chicago - Dean's Scholarship & National Merit Award
Computer Science & International Relations
I chose the University of Chicago due to its culture of learning just for the sake of learning, and of seeking new opportunities to explore different disciplines whenever possible. At Chicago, it's not weird to love learning or exploring connections between various subjects. Leaving Notre Dame, I know I am now more self-confident, assertive, unafraid and motivated to use my education to fight for justice and to pursue a career I am passionate about.
Molecular & Cell Biology and Public Health
I chose Cal because of the breadth of diverse opportunities and experiences it offers. Emboldened by the well-rounded and empowering education I received here at ND, I cannot wait to continue building upon the things I am so enthusiastic about and explore new passions in college. ND has taught me the importance of authenticity, courage, confidence and fanny packs - all values I will cherish for the rest of my life. Go bears!
Syracuse University - Engineering & Computer Science (ECS) Leadership Scholar Award
From the moment I stepped onto Syracuse’s campus, I knew that it would be my home for the next four years. Syracuse strives to produce intelligent, compassionate and globally aware individuals who are ready to leave their mark on the world from the moment they graduate. I strongly believe that my Notre Dame experience has shaped me into the open-minded and empowered young woman I am today. I will forever be grateful for the four wonderful years I spent at ND.
University of British Columbia
I look forward to attending UBC in the fall because of its amazing location on the coastline, extensive research opportunities, and overall great environmental programs. The two things I think I will take away most from ND are the great community of friends I can fall back on if needed and the drive for social justice.
I chose Boston University because it is an institution that is committed to helping our society flourish. ND and BU are similar in that they both value diversity, have a long history of excellence, and have a dynamic engagement with the beautiful cities that they are located in. Notre Dame has prepared me for the rigor of the courses and my major at BU and I will always be grateful for the academics and community that I have been blessed with at ND.
The New School - Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts
Film & Sociology
I've wanted to go to school in Manhattan since I was a little kid, and being given the opportunity to get two masters degrees in 5 years was too exciting to turn down! The New School's commitment to social justice is just like the environment I have come to love at ND, and the students who attend the New School are as dedicated, respectful and kind as ND's students. It felt like home the minute I walked into the Lang building, and I can't wait to see what the next 5 years will bring!
Baylor University - Dean's Gold Scholarship
I chose Baylor because the minute I walked onto campus it felt like a home. Nowhere else could give me so many options, so much purpose, such a sense of belonging, and a great welcoming atmosphere that reminded so much of the supportive environment at ND. Notre Dame has transformed me from an insecure girl to the confident woman I am today. I can definitely say that I have learned what I need to know for life!
Santa Clara University - Incentive Grant
Santa Clara University is the perfect continuation of my Notre Dame education, placing importance on Jesuit tradition, community engagement and innovation. I'm excited to pursue more leadership opportunities on the beautiful campus and resume the connections that ND has already helped me make in the Silicon Valley. College decisions have been a rollercoaster, but there's no place like home!
Washington State University - Cougar Academic Award
Notre Dame has taught me so much over the past four years; from learning to think critically to being a social justice advocate, things I know I will be able to take beyond Notre Dame. I chose Washington State because I like the sense of community. I also believe I will be set up for success right from the beginning as they take great care in making sure their students are placed in the right class levels. Go Cougs!
University of California, Davis
After I visited UC Davis for an admitted students day, I knew it was the school for me. I was comfortable there and felt as though I could find my niche, not to mention it had all of the majors I could possibly want and is a top-ranked engineering school. Notre Dame has given me the confidence to go out into the world and pursue my interests with the mindset that I can accomplish anything. Thank you Notre Dame and go Aggies!
University of California, San Diego
I ultimately chose UCSD because of the wide variety of academic and extracurricular activities it offers students and I am looking forward to starting my college journey and discovering new things about myself and what I am passionate about. My belief in the importance of social justice and women in leadership will stay with me forever, and my hope is that I will soon be able to put the skills I learned at Notre Dame into action.
USC - Presidential & University Scholarships, Viterbi Followship
Walking onto USC’s beautiful campus, I felt immediately at home and could envision myself living and studying there. USC attracted me with its’ amazing engineering school, research opportunities and huge school spirit. My main takeaway from Notre Dame is the importance of a close, supportive community and at USC I felt that same warmth and welcome. Notre Dame has set me up to thrive in college and I am so excited for the next four years!
Saujanya K. Mulukutla
UC Santa Cruz
5-year BS/MS Computer Engineering Program
As part of Notre Dame's inclusive community, I was able to open up and be more confident. It is because of that that I feel proud of who I am today. I take away from Notre Dame an awareness of social justice issues. With the opportunities ND provided, I was able to develop an interest in technology and science as well as awareness of the representation of women in STEM-related fields. I really look forward to attending next year at UCSC. Go Banana Slugs!
University of California, San Diego
I knew I wanted an environment like ND - a place where I can be myself, where everyone is chill but studious and where I can continue my love for science and research, volunteering, dance and a wider view of the world. I want to do more than just achieve my goals. Just as my peers, teachers and mentors pulled me out of a low point, I want to help others because, trust me, the high points of life are pretty enjoyable!
Dominican University of California - Presidential Scholarship
I chose to attend Dominican University due to its exceptional PA program and the vibes from the campus and surrounding area(s), which were similar to those I felt when first considering Notre Dame: a sense of stability, the ability to thrive as an individual, and the overall sense of peace with an underlying tone of intense personality and commitment from those attending and working there.
I chose Tulane University because it exemplifies the values of service and community that have become so important to me these past four years. I am so thankful for the support I have received and thrilled to be attending my dream school! I have ND to thank for the confidence and drive that will serve me well in the coming years, and I am so excited to continue growing as a woman of impact. Roll wave!
St. Mary's College - Gael Scholars Award
When deciding where I want to spend my next 4 years, I knew I wanted it to be similar to ND: a place where I can continue to grow and call home. I was able to find this sense of belonging at Saint Mary's when I first went to their campus. Notre Dame has challenged me on so many levels and taught me to always strive to reach my full potential to become the person I am today.
Bentley University - President's Scholar
I chose to attend Bentley University for its convenient location near Boston, ample resources and its focus on developing its students for business. I'm so thankful that I've attended Notre Dame for the past four years and it's given me so many opportunities to try new activities, take on leadership and pursue my passions, which I'll be sure to continue doing in college. Go Falcons!
St. Mary's College of California
Saint Mary's is the perfect fit for me. It's most important to choose where you're comfortable, but also a place you know will challenge you to grow. Notre Dame has prepared me for life and I can't wait to bring my ND knowledge with me to SMC.
Stanford - Athletic Scholarship
I chose Notre Dame because of the community, I stayed because of the amazing math department, and I leave well rounded, confident and content. I am excited for my next years at Stanford!
Chapman University - Thurgood Marshall Scholar Scholarship
Chapman felt like the right place. Not only do they have a program that is 33% women, but they support them in every way possible. Notre Dame taught me that it perfectly okay to be an activist and fight for justice. I am leaving Notre Dame, ready to take on college and to make a difference in the world. I am so grateful to have a family at Notre Dame that pushed me to be the woman I am today and will always strive to be, a woman of impact.
St. Mary's College - Gael Scholars Award
I really fell in love with Saint Mary's from the jump and couldn't imagine myself being happier anywhere else. Notre Dame has taught me to be a confident young woman who fights for what she wants and doesn't back down in the face of a challenge. I could not be more grateful for what I have learned here.
Loyola Marymount University
International Relations, Pre-Law
I used to be shy and despised of speaking with strangers. However, through the last four years I have learned that I want my career to revolve around communicating and interacting with others while dealing with international issues and businesses. I have also learned how to be an advocate for others and speak out for those whose voices are minimized. I am forever thankful for what Notre Dame has offered me as I embark on the next chapter in my life. Go Lions!
St. John's University, Provost Scholarship, Catholic Scholarships
I chose St. John’s University because it is located in the heart of New York City and it reminds me of Notre Dame: with a deep Catholic faith, students of excellence and cities as classrooms. At ND, I have learned to appreciate cultural differences, been enlightened to social injustices and given the tools to take matters into my own hands. Notre Dame educated me as a whole person, and I am very excited to forever be an alumna of Notre Dame.
Seattle University, Bellarmine Scholarship
I chose Seattle University, not only because it is home to a diverse population, but also because of the hospitality I found both in the city and the students. While I am taking both my knowledge and power to Seattle, I'm also taking a special asset I have received from Notre Dame. This special asset is the persevering and open-minded mentality that Notre Dame has nurtured in me.
Karly Grace Vaughn
University of Oregon, Summit Award
I chose the University of Oregon because it is away from home, but no so far away that I can't visit. In addition, UofO has an incredible psychology department, highlighting a variety of subcategories of the subject. Being a student at Notre Dame has been an incredible experience that has raised me to be a strong and confident young woman, ready to take on the world. I will miss it dearly.
University of Portland, Holy Cross Scholarship
I have chosen to attend the University of Portland because I fell in love with the sense of community, which is extremely comparable to the sisterhood I experienced at Notre Dame. University of Portland's strong nursing program also attracted me as it will successfully prepare me for my future career as a nurse. While I am beyond excited begin this new and exciting chapter in my life, I will always look back on the memorable years I spent at ND.
Fordham University - Loyola Scholarship
The caring community and focus on educating the whole person really drew me to Fordham. I know I will build relationships with peers and professors, which will give me the opportunity to dive into issues that interest me. Notre Dame taught me the importance of community and a well-rounded education. I have loved learning how to be a woman of impact, and I will carry this with me throughout college and into my life.
The Notre Dame experience has truly prepared me to attend UC Berkeley in the fall. From teaching me how to be a compassionate, socially aware leader, to providing me with a community of supportive and passionate sisters, Notre Dame has given me an extraordinary high school experience. I hope to carry this same passion for academics, my community and social activism with me to Cal. Go Golden Bears!
Mikaela Elise Fenton
UC Davis Honors Program - James N.& Leta H. Fulmor Scholarship
The moment I stepped foot on the UC Davis campus, I knew it would become my home for the next four years. Not only did it have the academics and extracurriculars I was looking for, but it gave me this feeling of positivity. Notre Dame has helped me grow into a strong, empowered woman of impact. I hope to carry this strength as I meet new people, travel to different countries, and work to make the world a better place.
Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior
Stepping on campus, I immediately felt at home. With its positive support towards mental health and friendly student environment, UC Davis fits me perfectly. Though I will be leaving ND, I thank all the teachers and the opportunities provided to empower me as a strong, open-minded young woman. The memories I’ve shared here will be cherished and not forgotten. I hope to make UCD my home-away-from-home as I have with ND.
Occidental College - President's Scholarship
Honestly I just wanted to find a school where I felt happy. Los Angeles has sunshine, urban resources and social justice opportunities like no other city. I've become used to that kind of environment as a result of my experience at ND. I know I thrived here as I turned toward the sun, used downtown as my backyard, and discovered my power to fight for justice. Occidental will be the continuation of this personal growth.
University of Southern California
I chose USC because the ambitious and welcoming people there reminded me of the environment at ND. Notre Dame has taught me respect, compassion and courage. I would not be the person I am today if it was not for my dedicated teachers and my supportive ND sisters. I have truly learned what I need to know for life!
University College Dublin - Global Scholarship
Linguistics & History
I chose University College Dublin because the program, being only three years long, would allow me to dive right into what I wanted to study. Notre Dame has prepared me to be confident, academically or otherwise, and I think that what I have learned over the past four years will help me greatly when I have to adjust to living halfway across the world for three years.
Santa Clara University
I chose SCU because of its mission to educate the whole person. They strive to create competent, compassionate and conscious leaders for the world. This resonated with me because I have learned about the injustices in today’s society and want to continue my journey to serve others. ND has taught me important lessons that I will apply in college and life. Through ND’s comprehensive education and co-curricular programs, I have become more confident in my abilities and myself.