Notre Dame….Why Not?

Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy! My sons (7 & 8 years old at the time) watched the TV screen with big smiles on their faces cheering on Rudy. Tyler, my oldest, fell in love with the tradition and the mystique of Notre Dame. In the movie “Rudy” the main character struggles to achieve his dream of playing football for Notre Dame after attempting, and failing, several times to be accepted into the school. Tyler was rooting for Rudy all through the movie and as the ending credits were rolling is when my son said, “I want to go to Notre Dame!” We have always expressed to our boys that with hard work and commitment they can achieve anything.

Dreams and goals are important to have at any age. However, they seem to be that much more magical when a child has a dream or a goal. With those dreams and goals, will come people that lend support and others that try to shoot those dreams down. After a recent experience my son Tyler had in middle school, I thought I would share.

It was a typical Friday afternoon and I was picking up my middle schooler from school. He got in the car and I asked him the usual questions.

Me: How was your day? Do you have any homework?

Son: No HW but our counselor met with us today to discuss goals for the future.

I thought this was great that counselors are meeting with the students to develop their goals for the future. Any parent would love that!  He talked with his counselor and it went something like this.

Counselor: What are your main goals and are you considering going to college?

 Son: First goal is to go to Notre Dame, second to get an athletic scholarship, and third maybe play  Major League Baseball!

 Counselor: You know, you should try to choose a more realistic attainable goal.

Son: No, I am going to Notre Dame.  I know that I have to work hard and get good grades to do so.

Needless to say I was disappointed and vexed that a school counselor could say that to one of her students. I wanted to go to the school and talk to her about the situation.  The conversation continued with my son.

Me:  What!! So let me understand. She wants you to have a realistic goal.  You know that she is completely out of her mind! You can go to Notre Dame! I need to go talk to this counselor and let her know what’s up.

Son: You know mom it’s no big deal. I know I will go to a big college and when I do, I will make sure that my counselor knows this and hopefully my counselor will not say this to another kid.

Me: What she said to you is wrong and really a counselor should be supporting your goals. I’m glad you understand how what she said is completely inappropriate and not true.

As much as I wanted to, I did not confront the school or the counselor about this. Tyler asked me not to and I realized that he gets it and is able to communicate and handle situations in an appropriate way.

notre dame

 Is it realistic for a Hispanic boy to want to go to Notre Dame? What is a realistic goal?  And who decides what is realistic and what an attainable goal should be?  I  believe it cannot be decided by anyone but the person who establishes their own goal.  The reality is that my son knows what he wants and what he has to do to get there.  What he learned from this is that there will be people who will get in your way and do not believe in you and the bottom line is believe in yourself.  So I leave you with this Tyler, be proud of who you are, who you are becoming and as the Notre Dame motto goes “Play Like a Champion.”


Latina Mama Rama


  1. How sad that that counselor would say something to discourage him. That just frustrates me when I hear stuff like that. Good thing he’s got a good head on his shoulders and has a mom who believes in him! Why can’t he go to Notre Dame?! I tell my kids hard work will take them a long way!

    • Yes, it is very sad and frustrating. We talk to both our boys about hard work too. As moms we need to continue to talk to our kids about what they can achieve. Thanks Michelle for visiting.

  2. Keep pushing your son! And tell him to keep claiming his future goals! I absolutely hate when counselors say stuff like that. One of my best friends was told by our counselor in high school that she wasn’t college material, this made me upset in high school! You don’t tell children this at all!!!! It should actually be against everything they stand for to do stuff like this!!!

  3. Awww! He’s so sweet! Hubby loves Notre Dame’s football team. It will be nice to hear that your son was accepted into that school and got to play baseball like he wanted to! I hope you are blogging then so you can tell it and reference this post! Thanks so much for the support on Countdown in Style! Don’t forget to come back to see if you are featured! xo

  4. Ignore the counselor, Ophelia. I had high school counselor who told me that because I attended senior ditch day (yet had done all of my homework and classwork before hand AND turned it in), it was a bad precedent to set in my life and that “character trait” would follow me into the future. I had respected him until then, having also been my coach at one point in time. I think counselors just have to say “something”… yet this younger generation doesn’t really know what hard work is, so would rather give him another goal that she knows he can attain, as for him to not experience disappointment. Overall, guidance counselors seem to be meant for those who need extra help, not those who are doing well (IMO). I would love for my son to have the desire to go to a top school! My only advice is that he needs to change his 1, 2, 3 to 2, 1, 3… only because an athletic scholarship would help him pay for Notre Dame!

    Thanks for sharing and linking up with Countdown in Style! Don’t forget to come back on Friday to see if you were featured!


    • Thank you April for your kind words! I hope he continues to have the drive and I know he will accomplish his goal. I love your link up Countdown in Style!

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