Seventh Grader, Thomas, Gets Accepted Into The University of Notre Dame Ignite Connection Program

Thomas is a seventh grade straight-A student at St. Francis Xavier. He was accepted into a new program by the University of Notre Dame. The program is called the University of Notre Dame Ignite Connection Program. He also is on an elite Lacrosse Travel team that took him across the country this summer playing Lacrosse.

Q. Can you tell us about the Notre Dame Ignite Connection Program? How did that opportunity come about?

A. I found out about the ND Ignite Program when my older brother, who is a senior at Brophy, was attending their Summer Scholars Program. To be selected, I had to submit my grades, write some short-answer essays and have my principal, Ms. Cavnar, write a letter of recommendation. I am one of about 1,000 kids in the program and we work on things like leadership, defining our goals and how we can make an impact in the world. They really get me thinking about big picture things like what I want to be in life, where I want to go to school, and what I want to accomplish. Its a two-year program and I have to listen to monthly webinars filmed at Notre Dame and submit projects to be graded by ND faculty. Its extra work besides my school work, but Notre Dame is by far my dream school so it’s worth being able to be a part of it now when I am only in middle school. Go Irish!

Q. Where did you travel with your lacrosse team this summer? Do you have a favorite place you visited?

A. The past two summers, I have been playing for the True Lacrosse National Team. We’ve traveled to camps at John Hopkins University and Towson University as well as played tournaments in Annapolis, MD. My favorite place to visit was Baltimore because it is the center of the universe when it comes to lacrosse and I love eating steamed Chesapeake Bay crabs. I like meeting lacrosse players from around the country. Now, I have friends all over the place.

Q. What do you love most about St. Francis Xavier?

A. What I love most about St. Francis Xavier is how everyone at the school believes in our Jesuit ideals and being a “Kid for Others”. I like how the school really makes us think about people in need and about being there for each other. I have the best group of friends at St. Francis and the teachers make us work hard, but they make going to school fun, too!

Q. What is your favorite book? Why?

A. My favorite book of all time is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The reason I love the book is all the descriptive action and detail. It totally captures my attention and whenever I pick it up, I don’t want to put it down. I’ve ready it about 4 -5 times and I’ve enjoyed it every time.

Thomas Haak is a seventh grader at St. Francis Xavier.

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