Class of 2021

Lidya Abreha

Lidya Abreha

  • Areas of Study: Physics
  • Hometown: Amhara, Ethiopia
  • High School: African Leadership Academy

As a first year student at the African Leadership Academy, Lidya was chosen to attend the 2016 Georgetown Model United Nations Conference in Qatar. Building upon the experience she gained there, she served as the Committee Chair of the Pan-African Parliament at the ALA Model African Union conference held in March 2017.

Also committed to service, Lidya served as a peer counselor, carefully guiding and supporting nine first year students as they transitioned to life at the ALA. During the summer of 2016, Lidya and two fellow Ethiopian ALA students organized an entrepreneurship camp for refugees in Ethiopia. She previously served as a representative for Let Girls Lead, a global movement to empower girls through advocacy, policy and education.

At Notre Dame Lidya aspires to continue coupling her dual passions for science and women’s empowerment. She hopes to research and help establish ways of promoting equal opportunities for girls and women, especially in Africa.

Khesa  Borotho

Khesa Borotho

  • Areas of Study: Finance
  • Hometown: Leribe, Lesotho
  • High School: African Leadership Academy

Khesa knew the fields of finance and education were intertwined, but he experienced the relationship firsthand when he began an agriculture initiative in his hometown. By growing and selling produce to local stores, he was able to use the proceeds to cover school fees for a teenage orphan.

His finance experience deepend as the CFO of SAFCorp, a student-run enterprise that provides financial consultation services, and as an intern at Metropolitan™, a leading finance firm in Lesotho. At ALA, Khesa was the director of administration in the school’s Model African Union conference, where he helped recruit 175 students from across the African continent. He also served as a residential assistant and soccer captain.

At Notre Dame Khesa intends to major in finance, and hopes to use his HYSP experiences to research the connections between financial systems and successful education models across the globe.

Olivia  Castello Eaddy

Olivia Castello Eaddy

  • Areas of Study: Finance
  • Hometown: Sea Girt, NJ
  • High School: Ranney School

As part of her aspiration to serve those who are oppressed and less fortunate, Olivia founded Friends In Learning, a summer enrichment curriculum to help bilingual students progress in their studies. With the help of a social innovation scholarship, she also started Enchanted Gardens, a business which helps women in domestic violence shelters rebuild their lives.

At the Ranney School, Olivia was a member of student government, president of the National Honor Society, AP Scholar, two-time recipient of the citizenship award, founder of a local chapter of Girls Who Code, a varsity member of the fencing team, and a participant in the performing arts.

As a finance major and entrepreneurship minor, Olivia plans to focus on social impact investing to help women in the Middle East and North Africa gain opportunities in the corporate world.

Chad Cocco

Chad Cocco

  • Areas of Study: Computer Science
  • Hometown: Hershey, PA
  • High School: Hershey High School

When Chad realized his technological skills could be used to serve his community, he became the Downtown Hershey Association’s first student director and board representative. In that role, he managed the community’s website and established The Wrapper, a weekly newsletter.

As president of Hershey High’s National Honor Society, Chad enlisted the support of The Hershey Company and other local organizations to develop a service awards program which inspired a 25% increase in chapter volunteerism. He served as captain of Hershey High’s three-time national champion memory team, was a founding board member of an adolescent mental-health awareness organization called Over the Moon Advocates, and he competed on Hershey’s conference champion varsity soccer team. Chad is a National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction.

As a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar, Chad plans to study computer science with the goal of developing machine-learning based and transformational solutions to societal challenges.

Conal  Fagan

Conal Fagan

  • Areas of Study: Political Science
  • Hometown: Derry, Northern Ireland
  • High School: St. Columb's College

Conal, the first Sutton Trust student selected as a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar, has held several leadership roles. He was student body president, the lead youth volunteer in his city’s bid to become European Youth Capital 2019, and the head fundraiser for a Catholic youth pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. Conal’s passion for service is also evident through his role as lead youth fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society in Derry.

Conal was awarded the prestigious Life Advocate Award, a national essay writing contest, and he was the recipient of the Pope John Paul II Gold Award given by the Diocese of Derry.

He captained the U15 & U16 Northern Ireland soccer team, and he currently devotes time to coaching the local Down syndrome soccer team.

Conal intends to major in political science and he looks forward to continuing his commitment to service through the HYSP summer enrichment opportunities.

Regis Isirahenda

Regis Isirahenda

  • Areas of Study: Financial Econometrics; Management Consulting
  • Hometown: Bujumbura, Burundi
  • High School: African Leadership Academy

Regis is passionate about economics and politics and the role they can play in transforming his home country. At age 17, Regis founded his own tourist company called Burundi View with the hope of showcasing the beauty of his country and impacting the local economy.

At the ALA, Regis served as the chairman of the honor council and captain of the basketball team. He participated as a delegate at the 2016 African Leadership Academy Model African Union.

At Notre Dame, he plans to study financial econometrics and management consulting. He hopes as a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar he will gain the skills and knowledge to create lasting change in his home country. 

Patrick  McCabe

Patrick McCabe

  • Areas of Study: Political Science
  • Hometown: Vienna, VA
  • High School: George C. Marshall High School

As a scholarship recipient of the U.S. State Department's National Security Language Initiative for Youth, Patrick spent the summer of 2015 studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan, and after graduating high school spent a year living in Rabat, Morocco. Through these experiences, Patrick reached a high level of Arabic proficiency in classical Arabic and local dialects. He also had opportunities to meet with policy leaders, work with migrant organizations and conduct research on Morocco's approach to countering violent extremism.

During Patrick’s youth in the Dominican Republic and Panama, he found a passion for international development work by volunteering at Alcance Positivo centers for at-risk youth. As editor-in-chief of his school newspaper, Patrick developed a partnership with the ESOL program to publish articles in Japanese, Farsi and Spanish. He also worked to lead a voter registration drive through the Inspire Virginia program to get 85 percent of his class registered to vote.

Patrick is excited to pursue his passions in international relations and diplomacy at Notre Dame and through his Hesburgh-Yusko summer experiences.

Grace McDermott

Grace McDermott

  • Areas of Study: American Studies; French
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • High School: Walter Payton College Prep

During high school, Grace developed a passion for journalism and became editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune’s teen newspaper, The Mash. Her reporting efforts on the subject of mental health education led to her being named the McCormick Foundation's 2017 Chicago High School Journalist of the Year and the 2017 Northern Illinois High School Journalist of the Year.

Grace also devoted much of her time to service. For four years, she volunteered at the summer reading program for the Chicago Public Library and she was a student leader for several youth programs in her parish. Grace co-chaired the tutoring program for her school's chapter of the National Honors Society, and served on the executive board of her school's cancer awareness and fundraising club, Payton 4 Hope. Grace played and coached volleyball, as well.

While at Notre Dame, Grace intends to double major in French and American Studies with a minor in journalism, and hopes to use the summer HYSP experiences to explore the subject of freedom of press throughout the world.

Ryan Mullin

Ryan Mullin

  • Areas of Study: Management Consulting; Economics
  • Hometown: Westlake, OH
  • High School: St. Ignatius High School

Ryan served on his school’s student senate for four years, and as a senior acted as student body president. He was also a four-year member and two-year leader of the St. Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry to the Homeless, an organization he would like to start at Notre Dame. Additionally, he played football all four years.

Ryan spearheaded the effort to make his high school Fair Trade Certified. He and a team of three other students tackled the two-year process in a mere seven months, making their school the second Jesuit high school in the country to earn the certification.

At Notre Dame Ryan wants to double major in finance and Spanish, and would like to use the opportunities provided to him to combine both of these interests. He also aspires to work with The Resurrection Project in Chicago to help hispanic immigrants acclimate to the U.S. financial system.

Catherine O'Leary

Catherine O'Leary

  • Areas of Study: Theology
  • Hometown: Irmo, SC
  • High School: Chapin High School

Catherine is a graduate of Chapin High School, where she ran cross-country, and served as team captain for two years. A passionate outdoorsman and environmentalist, she founded the CHS Outdoor Club, focused on memorable adventures and preservation projects.

Moved by the experience of a close friend and confronted with South Carolina’s deplorable domestic violence statistics, Catherine became a committed activist. After considerable research, she developed a model lesson for middle school students, which produced statistically significant changes in awareness of dating violence. In addition, with the support of the National Honor Society, she organized several clothing and supply drives to benefit a local women’s shelter – a project that NHS will continue to sponsor.

Catherine plans to pursue a theology degree from ND and a graduate degree in public health. She hopes to return to South Carolina to combat domestic violence and related social problems.

Augustine Pasin

Augustine Pasin

  • Areas of Study: International Economics; Chinese
  • Hometown: Winnetka, IL
  • High School: YK Pao School

At 16, Augustine left his family and home in Chicago to pursue Chinese studies. He enrolled as the first Western student at a Shanghai boarding school where he helped his Chinese classmates write a school constitution, create the school’s first student council, and propose the “student voice” position to which he was later elected. He combined his passion for service and foreign cultures by co-founding an organization that tutors local Chinese university students in English. He was captain of his school’s basketball team and a member of the swim, soccer, and track teams. Augustine was named co-valedictorian of his graduating class.

Keenly interested in technology and science, he co-founded his school’s robotics team and placed first in Tongji University’s Hack-a-thon. Back home in Illinois, he also spent a summer researching melanoma antigens through Loyola Medical Center.

Augustine will study international economics, Chinese and biology. As a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar, Augustine intends to work with NGOs in China to provide developmental resources and micro-financing to small businesses in support of local economic initiatives.

David  Phillips

David Phillips

  • Areas of Study: Biological Sciences
  • Hometown: Modesto, CA
  • High School: Central Catholic High School

Growing up on an apricot farm, David was immersed in the agricultural lifestyle of California’s Central Valley. This translated to a passion for the Future Farmers of America (FFA). He served as his high school’s FFA chapter president and as the central region vice president, leading over 24,000 students from 12 counties. He also won multiple state championships in the FFA organization. As 1 of 38 FFA delegates chosen to represent California, David developed a proposal that allocated funding to agricultural science labs for classroom instruction.

David was the gold recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Award, and he received the City of Modesto Mayor’s Top Teen Award for his community service, which ranged from tutoring students in mathematics to leading his parish’s altar servers.

As a student at Notre Dame, David hopes to major in either biology or international economics with a minor in poverty studies. As a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar, he will use his summer enrichment experiences to work with farmers in developing countries.

Ellen  Pil

Ellen Pil

  • Areas of Study: Pre-Health Studies
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
  • High School: Fox Chapel Area High School

Ellen’s passion is advocating for increased cooperation between physicians and legislators. In her role on the Youth Research Advisory Board at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh she promoted ethical medical research. She was president of her high school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance; she conducted research on the role of testosterone in facial structures; and she became involved in annual campaigns to promote women in government through the Women and Girls Foundation.

Her notable high school accolades include Congressional Debate honors at the local, state, and national levels, being named as a National Merit Finalist, and receiving the President’s Community Service Award from former President Barack Obama.

At Notre Dame, Ellen plans to study political science with a pre-health supplementary major. Through HYSP, she plans to continue her mission to bridge the gap between medical professionals and the government through a career in forensic medicine or healthcare policy.

Hope  Suleiman

Hope Suleiman

  • Areas of Study: Architecture
  • Hometown: Machakos, Kenya
  • High School: African Leadership Academy

Guided by her family values of being hardworking, kind and resilient, Hope excelled at the African Leadership Academy where she served as chairlady of the student government and house captain. She volunteered with the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation and remains a youth ambassador for SOWO (Safe Guard Orphans and Widows Organization). She was also involved in the arts as a member of the school choir and an all-girl a cappella group. She plays volleyball and the guitar, and loves to paint.

Through the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, Hope wishes to learn how she can improve the slums in her country by challenging policies that dictate how cities are designed, constructed and maintained.

Hind  Zahour

Hind Zahour

  • Areas of Study: Political Science
  • Hometown: Casablanca, Morocco
  • High School: African Leadership Academy

Hind’s primary interests lie in the fields of computer science, political science and mathematics. During the summer of 2016, she participated in the Yale Young Global Scholars Program which helped her better understand the role of technology in modern terrorism and the ways in which cybersecurity can be used as a tool for defense and counterterrorism. After returning home, she built a partnership with the Moroccan Association Marcaine des Victimes du Terrorisme to introduce activities in Moroccan schools that would raise awareness about the dangers of technology and terrorist networks.

At the African Leadership Academy, Hind was involved in the International Relations Council and was eventually chosen as the chairperson of the African Commission on Science and Technology at Model African Union.

Hind is passionate about comedy and politics. As a continuation of Father Hesburgh’s dream, Hind hopes to use her skills to serve her community and the world at large.