Ashinaga Scholars 2016: A Day in the Life 3

February 27, 2018 —As she came through the gate, Gorata’s mother heard screaming and crying coming from the house. She rushed inside to figure out what was happening. She found Gorata, at that point unable to speak. Gorata handed her phone to her mother. More crying ensued. Gorata had been admitted to Notre Dame.

From an early age, Gorata has been attracted to accounting — she likes the detail-oriented nature of the work. However, in Botswana, accountants do not have a good reputation; it is widely believed that they intentionally fudge numbers in order to fill their own pockets. It was this tension — Gorata’s love for accounting and accounting’s bad reputation in Botswana — that led her to Notre Dame.

At Notre Dame, home to the highly-ranked Mendoza College of Business, Gorata could study accounting in an academically-rigorous setting that prioritized ethics as much as achievement. “I didn’t want a school that taught ethics as an afterthought,” she says. During her application process, she was moved by a quote by Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross (which founded Notre Dame): “We shall always place education side by side with instruction; the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart. While we prepare useful citizens for society, we shall likewise do our utmost to prepare citizens for heaven.”

As a freshman at Notre Dame, Gorata’s days are busy: they often start with an attempt to eat breakfast before class (which hasn’t been too successful, she admits) followed by many classes and assignments. However, her time is not consumed by academics: she blocks out time at night to eat dinner with her friends, relax, and journal. She makes sure to get 7 hours of sleep no matter how much work she has. Despite the busyness, Gorata has flourished: she is surrounded by a strong group of friends, and has even been specially requested by the admissions office to make phone calls to incoming international students, or write letters to them in admission packages.

As she looks forward to the next three years at Notre Dame, she is particularly excited about growing in several areas. Academically, she wants to explore a second major — she’s thinking of Political Science. Personally, she wants to see transformation: “the greatest injustice I can do to myself is leaving Notre Dame the same way I came.” Socially, she wants to deepen preexisting relationships. Spiritually, she wants to grow closer to God and says that Notre Dame is a great place to do so.

Gorata makes Ashinaga proud, and we are grateful to be able to accompany her on her quest towards growth, ethical accounting, and more. However, we are not her only proud supporter: Gorata’s mom to this day has the Notre Dame admission letter hanging on her wall in her office.