Picture of Lekabel AbulBy Lekabel Abul ’20

As I type away on my keyboard, I cannot help but reminisce on the past. It seems like only yesterday that I was frantically trying to decide the next step in my life – which college I would soon call home. I admit that I was still undecided until I spoke to Dr. Michael Griffin, the vice president of Holy Cross College, over the phone.

“Lekabel, have you ever thought about attending a school in the Midwest?”

“What exactly is in the Midwest?”

“A tri-campus community that will help you obtain your aspirations. A place where we value our students. A place where spirituality is at the heart of everything that we do.”

A place that I can call home, I finished in my mind. I decided to take a leap of faith as a Beninese girl from Washington, D.C. and move to South Bend, Indiana. My passion lies within the engineering sector, which is why I joined the 2-3 Driscoll engineering program with Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame as part of the first cohort (class of ’23). I had big dreams and even bigger plans for myself, but I could not begin to imagine the opportunities that I would encounter at the doorsteps of these two institutions.

During my journey to reach my academic goals, Holy Cross made it easy to embed myself into its community, and so I do. By working at both the Admissions Office and the Office of the President, I discovered a combination of communication skills, organizational skills, and initiative that molded me into a student leader. Later, I used those skills to help start the first Black Student Association (BSA) at Holy Cross and engage in a variety of clubs and organizations.

After walking across the stage with my Associate Degree in General Studies in fall of 2020, I transitioned into the University of Notre Dame as a second-year computer science student. Recently, I applied to one of the prestigious programs that the university offers, the Silicon Valley Semester Study Abroad Program, and it is with great honor that I announce that I have been accepted into the spring 2022 semester program.

During this time, I will tackle rigorous computer science courses while working at a technical company in Silicon Valley. If I could describe how I feel in one word, it would have to be ‘grateful.’ Grateful for those who believed in me. Grateful for Holy Cross for challenging me to step outside of my boundaries and propelling me to develop a certain degree of perseverance and optimism. Grateful for the arduous classes that forced me to struggle, fail, overcome, and finally prosper. Grateful for the faculty and staff who wholeheartedly dedicated time and effort into making Holy Cross a great college experience.

Without this chapter in my life, I could not have achieved all the attainments that make me a remarkable individual or, simply, who I am today. Wherever I go or whoever I end up becoming, the Holy Cross motto, Ave Crux, Spes Unica: Hail the Cross, Our Only Hope, will always be engrained within my heart. Go Saints!