Jasmine Hunter '22 - Russell B. Rickus Endowed Scholarship

Hunter Jasmine Wide

Growing up in South Carolina and with no previous connections to Notre Dame, it was with fresh eyes that my parents and I were able to view Notre Dame when we visited for the first time during my senior year of high school. Despite the gloomy weather that day, I knew from the moment I stepped on campus that this would be the place that I was destined to spend my next four years.

After receiving the good news that I had been accepted, my dad and I were very happy, however, we both knew that the only way that I could actually attend Notre Dame was if financial aid was made available. When the financial aid letter arrived, it was clear that we had the necessary resources for me to attend my dream school. We were so thrilled that my dad immediately booked a flight to visit campus the following weekend. During that visit with my parents, I fell in love with the place that would be my home for the next four years.

Later, I learned that part of my financial aid came from a bequest made by Russell B. Rickus '34. It is hard to describe the appreciation I have for the impact that this and the other gifts that contributed to my financial aid funding have made in my life. While I cannot thank Mr. Rickus myself, I want all those who make planned gifts to Notre Dame to know how much those gifts mean to students such as myself.

When I arrived at Notre Dame, I decided to major in Management Consulting, and then added a second major of Political Science at the end of my freshman year. The curriculum, which includes classes such as International Management and Authoritarian Politics, has been both challenging and engaging. This education has allowed me to integrate my understanding of business and political matters, broadening my worldview, and preparing me for my next step in life which will be law school.

In addition to my studies, I knew that being an active member of the student body would be an important part of my Notre Dame experience. During my time as a resident of Cavanaugh hall, I have made lifetime friendships that have deepened my experience on campus. The residents of Cavanaugh hall have done a wonderful job at ensuring everyone feels connected as a community. One of my favorite memories is from celebrating Christmas in Cavanaugh my freshman year. I remember staying up late decorating my section with my friends by cutting out snowflakes and listening to Christmas music.

In addition to dorm life, I have been able to take part in many different clubs and organizations while on campus. I joined the Student International Business Club my freshman year and was able to participate in a travel team for a mock consulting case for PwC. This project allowed me to experience first-hand what it is like to work on a consulting case. At the end, I participated in my team's presentation to the PwC Chicago office which was invaluable to me in learning how to prepare and present a professional project.

One of my most formative experiences has been working with other students this year to build from the ground up the Prelaw Student Board, a new group dedicated to providing events and resources for other students interested in pursuing a career in law. In conjunction with the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development, we have been able to sponsor various law-related events, cultivate a website filled with resources, and establish a structure for the board that will ensure its continuation after we graduate.

I know that I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Notre Dame. While here, I have made lifetime friendships and created lasting memories. I know too that the many opportunities for professional development and personal growth I have been able to experience are unique to Notre Dame. It is with a grateful heart that I thank Mr. Rickus and all the generous benefactors who make it possible for students like me to attend Notre Dame.