Next month, 21-year-old Katie Washington will make history at Notre Dame University by being the first African American Valedictorian at the prestigious school.
Washington, who is a native of Gary, Indiana, will graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
The biology major, who directs the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir at Notre Dame, and is a mentor for the Sister-to-Sister program at South Bend’s Washington High School, will also present the valedictory address during commencement on May 16.
Washington has been accepted to five schools, including Harvard, but she plans to pursue a joint M.D/PhD at John Hopkins University.
In an interview with the Northwest Indiana Times Washington said “I am humbled, I am in a mode of gratitude and thanksgiving right now….I have had so much support, people who really wanted to see that I reached my full potential. They all had my best interest at heart.”
Washington, who has a minor in Catholic Social Teaching, performed genetic studies on mosquitoes that carries dengue and yellow fever and she also conducted research on lung cancer at the Cold Spring Harbor labs.
She is proudly following her family’s footsteps in the medical profession. Her father is a doctor, her mother and sister are nurses and her brother is completing his residency. She also has another brother who works for BP, (formerly British Petroleum).
Her mother, Jean Tomlin told the Times that just before sending her daughter to the Fighting Irish, she told her that she was representing her family her church and the city of Gary, Indiana, so “make us proud.”