Valencia DeAna Laws (Lynch)

NDS Class of 2003
High School: St. Thomas More Class of 2007
College: Marquette 2011, UW-Madison 2013
Family Origin: I am from Milwaukee, my father was African American and originally from Chicago and my mother is from Jalisco, Mexico.

Fun, adventurous, compassionate

Valencia Laws has always thought of herself as a self-motivated individual, aspiring to reach her full potential in life. However these characteristics were not fully cemented until she attended Notre Dame Middle School. “I remember being a student at Notre dame and feeling intelligent and motivated”. The school was more than a place to learn for Valencia, it was a family. “School was something that I enjoyed, but spending time with other students, dancing to prepare for a talent show, or singing for mass was what is truly special about Notre Dame.” During her time at NDS she was able to grow into the person she is today. The programs and community that Notre Dame offers allowed for Valencia to experience new things and build relationships with anyone she meets. “Now, as an adult, my busy, social spirit has kept me meeting new people and enjoying new experiences”. Valencia has two degrees, a BA in Anthropology and Africana Studies from Marquette University, and an MA in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her studies took her to Ghana, Mexico, Colombia and gave her the opportunity to serve as an intern at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington, DC. Many of the experiences that Valencia has had relate back to the values that Notre Dame instills in their students. “I thank Notre Dame for the values it instilled in me: Respect, Regalo, and Responsibility. I now share these values with my son, Eli. I look forward to continuing to share these values with our larger community.” Valencia’s education has traveled on many different paths, however the importance of embracing culture and her charismatic character was developed at Notre Dame. Now Valencia is able to give back to not only Notre Dame but the whole South Side community at Casa Romero. “Many of the youth I work with are current Notre Dame Students or recent Notre Dame graduates. I feel very blessed that God has continually allowed me to serve people in the community. As my son begins to take his first steps, I remember that I too am continuing to take steps into my blossoming adult life. I look forward to all God has in store for my family”