Rodeo scholarships help students overcome adversity
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo annually awards hundreds of students with scholarships that allow them to attend college, and UH has become home to several Rodeo Scholars.
“Currently there are 246 Rodeo Scholars at the UH-Systems,” said Legacy Programs Director Nancy Clark said. “Out of those, 66 are incoming freshmen.”
Many times students feel outdone by the adversities they face, but the Rodeo scholarship has become the light that keeps their dreams alive.
“Winning the scholarship gave me hope,” liberal studies junior Karen Gomez said. “It gave me the credibility within myself to say ‘I can do this. I can be successful at not just any college, but at UH.’”
Gomez is the first in her family to graduate from high school and attend college. She graduated in the top ten percent of her class at Regan High School and plans to seek a career in either human resources or as a nutritionist.
The HLSR and Rodeo has been a long-time supporter of the youth of Texas and long-time partner of UH. The first HLSR scholarship was awarded to a UH student in 1987.
In 2013, the HLSR added the Achievement Scholarship program that awards current scholars with additional financial assistance. Scholars must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and have junior or senior standing.
“Hearing about the Achievement Scholarship was just great news. Coming from not a very wealthy family, I need all the help that I can get,” said hotel and restaurant management senior Ana Rivera-Moreno. “The HLSR rewarded me for all my hard work.”
Rivera-Moreno will be graduate this fall, and said she plans to attend graduate school to receive her masters in sales and marketing. She is also the first in her family to receive a college education, and says that although it has not been easy, it is very rewarding.
“I have set a milestone for my siblings to accomplish,” she said. “I am setting an example for them, and being the first definitely means that it’s possible.”
HLSR has devoted nearly $375 million to the youth of Texas since it began in 1932. The Show plans on committing $24 million in 2015 toward educational support, and it hopes to continue helping thousands of students across Texas achieve their dreams.
“The HLSR scholarship became a blessing to my family, not just to me,” Gomez said. “I won the scholarship not just for myself, but most importantly for my family.”
Current Rodeo Scholars can learn more about the Achievement scholarship by visiting rodeohouston.com/Scholarships and may apply through their HLSR recipient login accounts starting in April 2015.