Yahterie-Anne Sykes Ortiz returns this weekend to San Antonio's Eastside for her weeklong Spring Break. Yahterie-Anne will be returning from the University of Notre Dame after she successfully survived a frigid northern Indiana winter and a horrendous 4-8 Irish football season. While maintaining an above-average grade-point average during her first semester at ND, she leaped on the opportunity to select Studio Art as her major. She traveled to Denver, CO for Thanksgiving and was last home during the winter break.
While back in San Antonio in January, Yahterie-Anne joined Roger Palacios and his family in celebrating his application to Notre Dame. Roger, a senior at Lanier High, visited Notre Dame on the SAISD Foundation-funded August 2016 trip when we dropped off Yahterie-Anne for the beginning of her freshman year. Both Roger and Luz Moreno, a senior at Travis Early College High School, submitted applications to Notre Dame in late 2016!
The Friends of Sam Houston honored the adults who who served as chaperones on the August 2016 trip to Notre Dame, University of Chicago, and Northwestern University. Will and Donna Covington and Jason Mims received Community Awards during the 2017 Annual Friends of Sam Houston Community Scholarship Breakfast. Yahterie-Anne prepared a video tribute to her mentor for the occasion on March 4.
The SAISD Foundation, SAISD, and community members are teaming up for a huge project: SAISD Spring Break College Tours for 83 high-achieving juniors. A group of ten will visit Notre Dame as their first stop. The picture that the group creates will serve as a visible sign of progress from the “Recreate the Picture of SAISD Presence at Notre Dame” that Yahterie-Anne, her bestie—Catherine “We Read Good Books” Espinoza—and her mom created in August 2015.
Yahterie-Anne’s Spring Break visit home coincides with the third anniversary of her first fellowship with Notre Dame students. On March 11, 2014—during her sophomore year at Sam Houston—Yahterie-Anne joined members of Notre Dame’s Voices of Faith Gospel Choir for dinner on the Riverwalk. The choir was in town as part of its Spring Break 2014 Texas Tour. Four members of Voices were kind enough to break away from the group and share their time with a future Domer from the Eastside.
Yahterie-Anne is exploring summer internship possibilities and she is in the planning stages for the opportunity of spending her junior year as a study abroad student in Italy.