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Notre Dame University courts South San High School students


Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 


It is about a 20 hour drive from San Antonio, Texas but the possibilities are endless for some San San Antonio High School students who were recently courted by officials from Notre Dame University.

Five seniors and five juniors and their counselor were treated to a special dinner and presentation, aimed at introducing students to what kinds of educational opportunities are being offered outside the Lone Star state.

“It was a real good experience for the kids,” said South San H-S Lead Counselor John Jacob Davila, who made the arrangements at the suggestion of Superintendent Marc Puig. 

When students arrived, they were greeted by Notre Dame University representatives and watched a video presentation about the offerings at the Indiana Ivy League School. Each also received backpacks, tokens and materials about life at the prestigious educational institution.

“Notre Dame is not all about the grades; they want the people who are thinking outside the box...who want to do more with what they know,” Davila added. “When I saw all the Notre Dame stuff and they [students] saw the food going to their table--I knew this is why I like doing what I do.”

One of the invited guests was South San H-S senior Graciela Joaquin who met with Notre Dame representatives and asked a lot of questions ranging from courses being offered to financial aid assistance.

“I liked the community I was hearing about where they could help each other,” Joaquin said. “I hear and I know that Notre Dame is a good school, but after seeing the presentation, I may consider applying.”

Each Summer, Notre Dame conducts a two-week Summer Bridge Program to help students get an up close and personal look at the school. The university pays for all expenses for that visit.

“On this side of town, they don’t really encourage us to dream big,” Joaquin said. “It’s not very often that big schools like that come down and talk to us and the fact that my friends and I got to experience that was pretty eye opening.”

Joaquin plans to study to become an epidemiologist and has already applied to several Texas universities, but she’s not stopping there. She hasn’t traveled outside of Texas with the exception of Mexico, so the opportunity to see not only an accomplished school, but live in a colder climate is exciting to her. 

“I love Texas but I want to widen my experience,” said Joaquin.“You’ll get homesick anywhere; you might as well get homesick from somewhere greater.”