Five years ago, Notre Dame student photographer, Declan Sullivan died when a tower he was standing on to record football practice fell over.
The Sullivan family and Notre Dame have since tried to turn the tragic situation into a positive one.
Since Declan's death, the Sullivan family has put their energy into Horizons for Youth in memory of their son.
The non-profit brought a group of 25 students—grades K through 12—to Notre Dame for Saturday's game.
Horizons for Youth is a Chicago-based organization that gives kids the support they need for academic success.
The nonprofit provides scholarships, mentoring and enrichment programs.
For the last four years, the group has paired up with Notre Dame to give kids the chance to experience Fighting Irish football.
Saturday, 25 kids and their mentors, or big sibs, got pre-game access to the field.
And much to their surprise, they were even invited to join in on the team's prayer.
Since the Sullivan’s have gotten involved, they've raised enough money for 75 more kids to join the program.
”It's definitely been inspiring see how both sides have responded to the accident and the tragedy. Obviously there was a great deal of healing to be done for both parties and its been really special to be a part of it and see, you know, both of them lean on each other for support and the result is obviously like I said, 75 lives being completely changed; 75 lives and 75 families and that numbers only going to grow,” said Tim Coffey, Communications Coordinator, Horizons for Youth.
“It's been very special for us. The university has been very supportive. It did all start out with a terrible tragedy, but we really appreciate the way the university has supported us and is supporting Horizons for Youth,” said Barry Sullivan, Vice President of Development, Horizons for Youth.
Declan's father, Barry Sullivan, left his job a few months back to work full-time for Horizons for Youth.
He says it all fell into place like it was meant to be.
Tim Coffey says that 100 percent of the students who pass through Horizons for Youth go on to college.
Plus, 90 percent of those students graduate.
Trips like this one where these kids get to experience a college campus can be really inspiring for them.