Class of 2024
- Areas of Study: Sociology
- Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Avery Broughton is an environmental activist and passionate baker. She is majoring in Sociology with a supplemental major in Global Affairs, concentration in Peace Studies, and minor in Sustainability.
Avery has interned and lobbied Congress to garner support for H.R 763, a bipartisan carbon fee and dividend bill, with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. She has worked with the Sunrise Movement, Youth Climate Strike, Philly Thrive, and Trash Academy to organize protests and actions around the city of Philadelphia to promote action and provide education concerning climate change. She has served on a board representing Philadelphia residents in hearings on land use for the former oil refinery site, Philadelphia Energy Solutions. She served as secretary and president of her high school’s student council and was the founder of her high school’s environmental awareness club. She played cello in multiple school and city orchestras throughout high school.
At Notre Dame, Avery is the director of the Department of Sustainability in Notre Dame’s Student Government. She is a member of GreeND, KiND Club, Juggling Club, and serves on Walsh Hall’s Spirit Committee. She spent her Social Justice summer volunteering with the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education.
Avery aspires to be an NGO manager once she graduates and attends graduate school.
Irene Chinchilla Mejia
- Areas of Study: Architecture
- Hometown: Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Irene Chinchilla is a Hesburgh-Yusko and Glynn Family Honors scholar from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She is in the Architecture major and pursuing a minor in International Development Studies as well as Resiliency and Sustainability of Engineering Systems.
Since Irene was little she has been extremely involved in service initiatives that involve children's education and women's rights. In her senior year of high school, Irene along with two of her friends, decided to create a database that would help law enforcement be more efficient in sexual assault and violence reporting in Honduran public universities. She also has an interest in the arts. She is a mezzo-soprano and was part of the cast of the Honduran National Opera. Irene also competed in tennis throughout her life and hopes to continue this interest during her time at Notre Dame.
Irene hopes to use her time at Notre Dame to learn how to combine her professional interests with her passion projects and go back to Latin America, preferably Honduras, and be part of the much needed change.
- Areas of Study: Economics
- Hometown: Menlo Park, CA
Matthew Doktorczyk is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Menlo Park, California. He graduated with the highest honors from Woodside Priory School. As a student in Notre Dame’s College of Arts & Letters, he studies Economics and Data Science.
During high school, Matthew was elected treasurer and then president of the Honor Society. He also led the Economics & Investment Club. Inspired by his history teachers, he competed in Model United Nations and served for two years as a student advisor to his U.S. Congressional Representative. Throughout high school, Matthew prioritized community service, dedicating more than 150 hours each year to those in need. After a rigorous training and testing program, Matthew obtained certification as an animal therapy provider. With his dog, Max, Matthew worked with patients at local nursing homes and hospitals. Each summer, he volunteered as a counselor and mentor at the Riekes Center, where he supported summer programming for special needs and low-income youth. For his Social Justice Summer, he volunteered at an elementary school in Menlo Park, CA.
Matthew enjoys economics because it requires both quantitative and qualitative thinking. Raised in Silicon Valley, Matthew is eager to investigate and research effective strategies for governments and businesses to collaborate to solve intractable problems and to pursue innovative ways to improve lives.
- Areas of Study: First Year of Studies
- Hometown: Carthage, MO
Abraham Figueroa is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar and a QuestBridge Scholar from Carthage, Missouri. He is a Political Science major and is pursuing a minor in Constitutional Studies to one day go to law school. His ultimate goal is to litigate in front of the Supreme Court and one day sit on a federal bench.
Abraham Figueroa is passionate about politics and political engagement. At Notre Dame, he is currently involved with the ND College Republicans, Young Americans for Freedom, and Bridge ND (nonpartisan). Alongside these political clubs, Abraham is also involved with Student Government. He serves as Knott Hall's senator, while also serving on both the Department of University Policy and the Department of Academic Affairs. His goal is to create a better, more cooperative environment between the student body and our administration by focusing on transparency and accountability.
Outside of the university, Abraham was also selected by No Labels, an American political organization located in Washington, D.C., whose stated mission is to combat partisan dysfunction in politics and build a bipartisan governing coalition, to participate in the 2021-2022 No Labels Youth Congress. The Youth Congress is made up of undergraduate and first-year graduate college students from across the nation. While participating in this organization, his goal is to form relationships with fellow members and Congressmen/Congresswomen to better understand how to combat our nation's current political atmosphere and toxic polarization.
- Areas of Study: Biochemistry
- Hometown: Danville, CA
Ella Foster is a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar from Danville, California. She is majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Sustainability. In high school, she conducted research on worms that biodegrade Styrofoam. She also founded the nonprofit Ella's Earrings, through which she has made and sold jewelry since 2016 to raise money for social justice issues, including women's access to education, disaster relief, and water sanitation. She sells her jewelry outside of local grocery stores and online through her website, www.ellasearringsforacause.com.
In her freshman year at Notre Dame, Ella designed a class called “The Physics of Ballet” for kids ages 9-17. The goal of the class is to provide kids and especially young girls with early exposure to the STEM field. The hour-long classes consist of an introductory physics lesson, followed by a ballet workshop employing the concepts, and finally a rehearsal for the show at the end of the 6-week program. She currently teaches the class at the St. Joseph County Public Library. Topics covered in the class include the role of the center of mass in balancing, torque in turning, and projectile motion in leaps.
In her freshman year, Ella also became a volunteer intern for the organization MyH2O, which is based in Beijing, China, and focuses on increasing clean water access and water quality transparency in rural China. She serves as a social media outreach spokesperson, applies for grants, and is an English editor for the organization's book and other documents. She hopes to continue working to promote clean water access through her minor in Sustainability and handmade jewelry fundraiser for good construction in rural areas.
For her Social Justice summer, Ella tutored and taught dance classes to women and children at a women’s shelter in California.
Bupe Lughano Kabaghe
- Areas of Study: Political Science
- Hometown: Kitwe, Zambia
Bupe Lughano Kabaghe is a passionate gender and political activist from Kitwe, Zambia. Her interests lie in African politics, gender equality advocacy, education, and entrepreneurship. She is an alumnus of the African Leadership Academy (ALA) where she was awarded the Leadership Award. During her time at ALA, Lughano served as secretary of Student Government, head residential assistant, and member of the Anzisha Prize Team (a premier award for young African entrepreneurs). While still a student at ALA, Lughano interned at the National Assembly Parliament of Zambia and has worked with different organizations such as the 25 May Movement, Zimbabwe, and the Women’s Economic Empowerment Project, Zambia (WEEP). Lughano is the founder of Abana Afrika (Children of Africa), a youth empowerment organization that provides entrepreneurial leadership training to youth in Zambia. She held her first entrepreneurial camps at Kalulushi Trust School (where she served as head girl in 2017) and WEEP in 2019. She spent her Social Justice summer working to build her non-profit in Zambia.
Currently, Lughano intends to double major in Political Science and Global Affairs with a minor in Gender Studies. After her studies, she hopes to pursue a career in public service and entrepreneurship with the intention of being Zambia’s first female president.
- Areas of Study: Economics
- Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Aria Malkani is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Indianapolis, Indiana, majoring in Economics and Environmental Science. She graduated from Park Tudor High School, where she founded a service club and literary magazine and participated in student government and tennis. She was also a leader and an avid member of her CyberPatriots cyber defense team.
Aria’s passion for photography led her to create an organization that provided low-income families with framed family pictures as well as digital copies of those pictures. She arranged free family portrait sessions at food pantries and community centers near her school and provided families with professional photography and equipment. Her work with these families impacted her immensely and helped her realize her passion for service.
Aria spent her Social Justice summer leading a STEM summer camp in Indianapolis to help combat learning loss in school children in grades K-6 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Areas of Study: Political Science
- Hometown: Seattle, WA
Dane Sherman studies Philosophy and Psychology. When Dane was eight years old, he lost his dad Craig to a polysubstance addiction and when he was twelve years old, he lost his mom Darby to suicide. These losses inspired him to improve mental health policy and support those affected. In 2017, he founded The Other Six, a nonprofit focused on helping those affected by a death by suicide. After a student committed suicide his freshman year of high school, the school administration’s response included measures harmful to those grieving. This prompted him to run for and serve in student government including as the first two-term Student Body President. He helped create the Seattle Academy Suicide Prevention and Advisory Council, advising the school administration on mental health policy. The council helped to get every teacher and student trained in suicide prevention skills, pushed the school to adopt a health curriculum, created a mental health week, and organized a coalition of 32 schools to help them adopt similar programs.
Because of his interest and efforts, the county executive appointed Dane to the King County Behavioral Health Advisory Board where he helped in efforts to raise the minimum age of tobacco to 21 and appropriate funding towards youth marijuana prevention campaigns. He was also heavily involved as the community outreach director on his high school’s FIRST robotics team, which won the THINK award at the World Championships his junior year. Dane was the co-captain of the congressional debate team, a student facilitator, and a Bank of America Student Leader.
At Notre Dame, Dane has been involved in investigative reporting for the Observer, working on a Student Policy Network project on solving the housing crisis in South Bend, serving as a member of the Committee on the Constitution, a member of FUEL in the University Policy department, a dorm liaison for ND Votes, and a member of ND Democrats. He is working as a research assistant for Professor Meghan Sullivan and is currently working on a book looking at LGBTQ+ students experiences in Catholic institutions.
- Areas of Study: Political Science
- Hometown: Coste del Este, Panama
Isabela Tasende is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from Panamá City, Panamá. She graduated from Academia Interamericana de Panamá and intends to major in Political Science and Economics.
Isabela founded an organization called Somos Voces to help teenage mothers finish their education and break the cycle of poverty. She showed leadership by meeting with government officials, coordinating the building of new learning centers, and interviewing presidential candidates about their plans to help marginalized women in Panamá. She was the president of her school’s debate and marketing teams and earned a medal for achievement after a three-week service trip to Panamá’s interior. Back home, she starred in professional plays and musicals. She also directed a supplement for La Estrella, Panamá’s national newspaper, and worked as a graphic design and social media intern at La Doña, one of Panamá’s largest food providers.
At Notre Dame, Isabela is part of the Building Bridges Mentoring Program. She has participated as a writer, designer, and social media manager for Scholastic Magazine. Additionally, she works as a research assistant under professor Abby Córdova, studying violence against women in Latin America.
- Areas of Study: Mechanical Engineering
- Hometown: New York, NY
Darien Vazquez is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar from New York City. He intends to major in Mechanical Engineering. He attended the Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology in Manhattan.
Darien is the head of a non-profit dedicated to addressing issues in education in rural parts of the Philippines. He studied biomechanical engineering under Dr. Aaron Kyle at Columbia University. He was also the Head Administrative Officer for his local Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps chapter.
Xinyu (Zachariah) Zong
- Areas of Study: History
- Hometown: Guangzhou, China
Xinyu (Zach) was committed to studying the retribution system in China in high school. He tried to reconstruct the driving engines that help China build a better legal system. He also loves cooking, meeting new people, debating, and swimming in his free time. Now, Zach is trying to discern a career path in a field like consulting where he can use his abilities to help all sorts of people to solve problems and foster better communities along the way.