Scholar Profile: The importance of being honest about who you are

Author: Sarah Kubinski

2013 Anbryce Kassidy Lawrence


Kassidy Lawrence ’17 decided in the second grade that she was going to be a lawyer. “When I was in elementary and middle school I was convinced that my grades would be considered when I applied for law school.” This self-awareness and drive have helped Kassidy establish a strong work ethic. Part of the Questbridge Scholars Program, Kassidy matched with Notre Dame. She also received a letter to apply for the inaugural cohort of AnBryce Scholars. “My family’s worries about how to afford and navigate college were put to rest.”


Kassidy acknowledges that she was nervous about all of the unknowns of college, and particularly Notre Dame. She credits AnBryce with making that transition much easier. “They were honest about the challenges first generation students face but were encouraging that we were capable of achieving great things here. They assured us that we were not only a part of the Notre Dame community, but also the AnBryce family.”

Kassidy also learned the importance of being honest about who you are. “My first few years at Notre Dame I was private about my background. When your family does not fully understand the college experience and being surrounded by peers who have trouble comprehending your upbringing can make you feel lost at times. I honestly do not think I would have survived these past four years without the program. After seeing how honest and vulnerable the other scholars were in sharing their story, I wanted to do the same. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to talk about the campus climate and how I've felt a bit displaced, but it's one of the most effective ways to inspire change.”


Kassidy still plans to pursue law school, but she is taking her high school motto “service before self” and her time at Notre Dame to heart. Mainly, she also wants to continue to explore the many opportunities for change she has encountered at Notre Dame. She is looking at internships and Teach for America, things she hadn’t thought she could do between degrees. “Going on a service trip to Appalachia, volunteering at a home for recently incarcerated individuals, and working at a maternity shelter showed me that I am more privileged than I thought.” She hopes to take these experiences and growth back to law school, “I am still set on fulfilling my childhood dream.”