Notre Dame has first African-American valedictorian

For the first time in the University of Notre Dame’s 168 year history, an African American will lead the Fighting Irish’s graduating class across the stage.

Katie Washington will be the university’s first African-American valedictorian. She has made straight A’s through her entire school career.

Washington is a biology major who was also valedictorian of her high school in 2006.

The Gary native credits her hometown for her success.”I saw many things people may have never seen in their lives because of living in Gary — but at the same time I had an amazing childhood,” said Washington in a statement released to WLS-TV, Chicago’s ABC affiliate.

Washington’s ultimate career goal is to become a doctor, but she has several other interests. She directs Notre Dame’s jazz choir, sings and has been on the swim team.

Katie listened to her mother’s advice on college.

“You are representing your family, your church and the City of Gary — make us proud.”