Meet a Mom – Missy Rodriguez | Essex County Moms


*Note – you can vote for Missy’s Miracle Scholarship Fund to receive the grand prize from Sue Adler’s Team by clicking HERE.*


1.How many kids do you have and what are their ages?


Jesse 14 (almost 15), Reece 12, Mack 9


  1. How long have you lived in Short Hills/Millburn/Livingston and what made you decide to live here?


We moved here right after Reece was born, 12 years ago. We knew we wanted to be close to NYC and I grew up in New Jersey, so Short Hills seemed like a logical place to settle down.


3.Tell us about your business and what other local things you are involved in!  And how did you get started?


Becoming a private college counselor was not something I intentionally planned. I was a high school guidance counselor in Tenafly, NJ prior to having kids, and once I told my students I was leaving on maternity, many of them asked if they could continue working with me privately. Fifteen years later, my business as an educational consultant is thriving. I help guide students from across the globe with their college application process. My services have also expanded into admissions for private schools as well. When I lived in NYC I worked in private school admissions, and in many ways it is quite similar to the college application process. I take tremendous pride in being available for my students for anything that comes up during this oftentimes stressful period. Kids know that they can text me 24/7, and literally get a response within 5 minutes. I absolutely love helping to reduce the anxiety associated with making the right decisions about where to apply and how to make each application unique and show each student in the most positive way possible.


4.Favorite thing to do when you need “me time”? 


When I need “me time,” I love to talk on the phone with my lifelong friends, many of whom I don’t get to see in person very often. It is so nice to be able to let down my guard during these conversations, and I can simply be me, even just for a few minutes in between carpool drop-offs!


5.Favorite place for dinner with kids? 


When were aren’t running around in-between sporting events, the kids and I like to meet my husband for dinner at Boxcar in Short Hills after he gets off the train. I can honestly say that there has never been a time that we’ve been there without bumping into friends, which is always a nice surprise.


6.Most enjoyable place to hang out?


I love playing tennis, and the tennis courts are the only place where I can literally forget about everything else that is on my plate. I’m very competitive with myself, and have high expectations on the court, which is quite different from my typical laid back personality. I’ve been a tennis player my entire life, and was even the girls Varsity Tennis Coach at Tenafly High School. I’ve been injured this year, and playing tennis with my amazing coach and friend, has been something that I’ve missed tremendously.


7.How do you balance your career and being a mom?


Balancing my career and being a mom comes naturally to me. I’m an expert at multi-tasking, which certainly allows me to juggle all of my commitments. Since my own 3 children and my clients are busy at school during the day, I use that time to run errands and get organized. The afternoons and evenings are more of a struggle, because that’s the time when everyone needs me. Although I’m famous for overextending myself, I always seem to get it all done, hopefully with a smile!


8.Proudest mommy moment(s)?


Being a mom of 3 active boys is much harder than I could have ever imagined, and I’d be lying if I said I have proud mommy moments on a daily basis. However, there are certain times that my boys make me “kvell”. When I see Jesse volunteer for PAIRS or get a good grade in school, when I watch Reece lead his team as a Captain and score the winning goal, or when Mack performed on stage at the Glenwood Variety Show or has his artwork showcased at the art fair, I know that I have given my boys the tools to succeed in whatever endeavors they choose.



9.Best advice you have gotten from a mom?


Not to sweat the small stuff. You will literally go through life miserable!


10.Best piece of advice you can give other moms!


Same as above!!!


11.One thing people would be surprised to know about you…


Almost 5 years ago I started Missy’s Miracle. My foundation provides college scholarships for students who spread awareness about organ donation. Many times, these kids have been directly impacted by organ donation either personally or through friends and family. The Missy’s Miracle Scholarship is available to all New Jersey high school students and is in every high school guidance office in the state. There are multiple Missy’s Miracle clubs that have been started by high school kids that want to help spread awareness about organ donation. They participate in various fundraisers, including the annual 5K run/walk at New Jersey Sharing Network in New Providence. I started this scholarship fund on the 30th anniversary of my own liver transplant, which was March 4, 1985, when I became the first ever successful 10 year old to have a liver transplant. I speak in schools about organ donation, attend workshops to learn about progress being made in the field of transplantation, and am an active volunteer at New Jersey Sharing Network. I am part of Team Liberty, and compete in athletic events in an Olympic type setting against transplant athletes from across the country and world. I have received numerous Gold Medals in tennis singles and doubles.


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